Moshito 2009 Presentation on Music Portals


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Presentation at the Moshito 2009 conference, the topic was:

Technology trends - creating a digital portal for the South African music industry towards 2020.

Archiving of the entire collection of South African music into a digital portal for safe keeping and easy access should there be a need for any of the music is a good idea. Should this be the direction we take or is it likely to South African music being exploited further? What are the benefits of having the digital portal. Let us explore advantages and disadvantages.

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  • What benefit would there be? Who would benefit? What artist would sign up? Mainstream music is already archived through various channels, it’s indigenous music that is under threat. Is it a technical question, or an anthropological question? Not technical because: Technology exists Storage space is a dime a dozen building system is easy. Barriers: Competitor portals Artists using their own sites. Getting people to sign up and submit their music. Who will manage such a project? Where will the funds come from?
  • Portals have existed as destinations, it’s a central place for people to go to. Portals existed as mustering points for people. Traditionally, all content used to sit on the portal, with very few links to external sites. An article would be re-appropriated and packaged to fit the portal. Very little in the way of customization, the editorial process decided what was relevant and what wasn’t. Some examples of user generated portals exist such as Dmoz and MyNews24. Some other directory sites are experimenting with the same model. However most sites are in fact editorially focused and can be seen as similar to newspapers. This structure broke down though when people could search more accurately for information they wanted. Content also wants to be free – it wants to be spread out over the internet, it wants to have as much distribution as possible. And because it’s digital, it can do this. The portal structure broke when people started creating their own process.
  • New portals allowed you to view content your friends liked, or content that they found interesting. You can create your own magazine with news only you want to view. Portals suddenly became UGC environments, with very little input from editors. Editorial content became suggestions, and also those suggestions are determined through algorithms. This type of content is very intensely personal as your portal is different from your neighbours.
  • The rise of constellations. Facebook Connect, Myspace Connect. The profile is trying to exist everywhere, with tailored content. Realisation that every portal is private, and personal and different, it doesn’t make sense to create a one-stop solution. Rather create ways for your profile and preferences to exist elsewhere. FB etc reach out to different microsites and allow the profile to exist in that space. A mashup is a Web application that combines data from more than one source into a single integrated tool. Social objects Can we build a portal for everyone, that is deep and broad at the same time?
  • Local sites are a mix of UGC and editorial. All are managed content. Ability to buy online. Merely another distribution channel.
  • Finds music from around the web. Tells you related artists. Nothing hosted on their own site. Pulls everything in from elsewhere. Used as a distribution hub for musicians. Used for organising
  • The market is VERY saturated, does it make sense to explore this venue? What type of content mix will we be looking at? Will there be an editor, or a person who sources all the content, or will we rely on people to upload their content? Who will the person be that’s responsible for the maintenance and running of the site? Where will the money come from? Technically all this is out there, we can pull it off if we have the will power, and the people to do it. Storage is not a problem, data is not a problem. What value will this portal offer the artist? All their music is already archived, and they can host it themselves (or on myspace, vimeo, youtube etc). What incentive will we offer?
  • Moshito 2009 Presentation on Music Portals

    1. 2. creating a digital portal for the South African music industry towards 2020. Technology trends
    2. 3. <ul><li>Max Rover: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support </li></ul></ul>For the digital landscape
    3. 4. Unpacking the Argument Why would we want to do this? What type of music would we want to archive? Can we do it? What are the barriers to such a project? Who is the WE that we’re talking about?
    4. 5. History of portals Used to be the central place to go to. Yahoo, AOL, Google? News24, Dmoz User Generated vs Editorial Portals exist as destinations Content wants to be free Digital content can sit anywhere Portal structure broke down
    5. 6. The New Portals Facebook Google Reader iGoogle Myspace Netvibes Digg User Generated Very niche focused. Outsourced content Personal
    6. 7. Future of portals <ul><li>Let’s build Constellations – not destinations </li></ul><ul><li>Through: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Objects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>API Development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal dashboards </li></ul></ul>Is there space for portals in the future when everyone has their own portal?
    7. 8. Music portals in South Africa Speakerbox Overtone Entertainment Africa Rhythm Music Store Tunegum UGC mix with Editorial
    8. 9. What should we be building then? Something that leverages the API’s available is social and allows sharing allows for greater distribution protects the artist. offers a new opportunity for artists
    9. 10. Some examples Myspace BandCentral <ul><li>Benefits </li></ul><ul><li>International exposure </li></ul><ul><li>Distribution </li></ul><ul><li>Eyeballs </li></ul><ul><li>Management </li></ul><ul><li>Services </li></ul>
    10. 11. Conclusions and discussion points <ul><li>Who is running this? </li></ul><ul><li>The market is frenetic </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not a technical problem </li></ul><ul><li>UGC vs Editorial? </li></ul><ul><li>What value is being offered? </li></ul>
    11. 12. For More Information: Twitter: @ MaxRover Blog: Website: Email: [email_address]