Addicted guest writer Amanda Connon-Unda shares her favorites from the North by North East Interactive portion of the festival. Check out part 2, below.
Suroosh Alvi, VICE: Be opportunistic, while harnessing innovation
When VICE magazine started, founder Suroosh Alvi was a 20-something year old with a traditional Muslim family, and he wanted to make a magazine about sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. Throughout the 1990’s Suroosh and his friends covered raves and the hardcore punk scene. They were bored with other magazines and so they included taboo subjects like nudity and authentic shocker content.
The story of VICE magazine is an interesting one, riddled with wealthy investors, 2 million dollars of debt, the dot.com bust and a cold warehouse in Brooklyn, NY. They had visionary ideals for VICE, but after the dot.com bust, they decided to pursue a more dogged version of ‘punk rock capitalism’ and did it their own way. They filled the void of what wasn’t being done by mainstream media and in the 2000’s they were early adopters in web video. They covered increasingly important stories abroad like underground drug markets and terrorism.
Today VICE is working hard on Noisey.com, a platform that seeks to answer the restructuring of the traditional music industry. They’re producing enough content to be platform agnostic on a global level and although they’re always evolving they retain their core values.
Jeffrey Remedios, Arts & Crafts: Leverage your content wisely
On a panel with Trevor Silmser from Noisey.com and Scott Perry, a marketing pro from LA, Jeffrey told us that we should consider social media to be nothing more than a tool and he reminded us that interesting content is a means to an end. If you’re a record label, like Arts and Crafts, then the content needs to drive album sales, concert tickets and other revenue streams. Jeffrey explains one key to success is keeping up with the rapid changes in the industry and always asking how visual content can come into promotion. “Quality is so important. Content needs to be great to cut through the noise.” He also suggested selecting social media platforms that make the most sense for particular outcomes. Recently Arts and Crafts partnered with Antica Productions and the CBC to shoot a concert and blend footage from fans VIA social media sites and professionally shot footage. Their project was a great example of using crowd-sourced film content from fans.
Ayah Norris, Indiegogo: People support people, so be authentic
Although crowdfunding was mentioned at NXNE Interactive sessions in brief, there were no sessions dedicated to the topic. However, Ayah Norris, Marketing Manager from Indiegogo in Canada attended NXNE and told us about how artists are using crowd-funding campaigns in innovative ways to engage with their fans. “Artists don’t have to go through miles of gatekeepers anymore… and fans can get one-of-a-kind experiences, recognition, swag, inside peeks… plus the amazing feeling that they helped make something, instead of just buying it… Now we’re seeing musicians fund tours, films and community projects.”
As the popularity of crowdfunding for music continues to grow (the amount of funds raised in the music category on Indiegogo have doubled over the last year), the platform is evolving. “Indiegogo Outpost allows you to run a campaign on your own website, skinned to your brand,” said Ayah. “We have a new campaigner dashboard, with tons of analytics to give you more information about your fans. We have our mobile app launching in Canada, making it easy for fans to contribute on the spot…”
There is a lot of talk about authenticity at NXNE Interactive and how people respond to honesty. With regards to crowdfunding Ayah says “when fans connect with an artist… they’re craving that inside access. Crowdfunding sets artists up to foster a really deep relationship with their fans, which only helps them grow in the long run.”