As Music Tech events of the spring and summer fell like dominos to Coronavirus cancellations, Dmitri Vietze knew that he couldn’t just wait for conferences and trade fairs to return. After all, he started the Music Tectonics podcast and conference to connect a community he loved. Vietze and his team quickly responded with #WeeklyWebsday online meetups and “Isolate or Innovate,” a two-day crisis response forum. As many as 250 participants gathered at these online events, from L.A., NYC, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, and beyond. It became clear that Music Tech innovators around the world hungered for a space to meet and connect. That’s why Music Tectonics has created a free community mobile app for everyone working where music and tech meet (now available: App Store, Google Play, launch events start July 13, 2020).
Music Tectonics’ guiding vision is to create a space where the innovators of music tech—from all walks of the music and tech industries—can create opportunities for each other 24/7/365. With the Music Tectonics mobile app, members can connect with and message leaders across the music tech macrosystem. They share successes, challenges, and insights in the Community Forum, ask for advice and back up from their Music Tech fam in the Ask & Answer board, and contribute to a curated news feed of what’s happening in the epicenter of music and technology in News Articles. Membership includes exclusive access to video from Music Tectonics events, live streams, and downloads.
Vietze’s commitment to community building in Music Tech is inspired by his own experiences launching self-service music PR startup StoryAmp several years ago: “I found a welcoming community of free-thinkers who wanted to change the world through the convergence of music and innovation,” Vietze recalls. “ Whether you were at a major label or idea-stage startup, whether you wrote for a trade magazine or were an indie label testing out new B2B marketing tools, we became a tribe of like-minded people who were fighting for a better way for artists and their teams to succeed, with less friction and more creativity.”
Vietze went to as many industry conferences as he could to push his startup and to do business development for his music tech PR firm rock paper scissors. But something was missing. Each industry event had its own flavor, but most followed standard conference protocol: the same talking heads on the same panels, with little attention to attendee experiences. With that in mind, he created the Music Tectonics Conference in 2019 with less traditional presentation formats, diversifying voices across the music tech landscape, and even a set of Seismic Shift Trading Cards to enliven and deepen the conversation.
To fill the gaps as Coronavirus restrictions prevented gathering in person at SXSW, Music Biz, Midem, and more, the Music Tectonics team started #WeeklyWebsday, a no-charge, networking-focused online experience with highly curated topics and speakers and a curated audience. While holding these successful online events in challenging times, Vietze and his team saw an unfilled need: spaces for Music Tech networking and community that aren’t bound by Zoom rooms and time zones. Creating a Music Tectonics community mobile app was the logical next step: “We are constantly hearing about connections made and business achieved thanks to everything we have already done,” Vietze remarks. “We want to empower each of you in the community to put up your own shingle and use the Music Tectonics platform to get further faster with innovating, partnering, doing deals, and helping inspire more creativity in our shared field.”
When the Music Tectonics team organized a two-day forum on Music Tech responses to crisis, “Isolate or Innovate,” they invited attendees and speakers to try out a pre-release, web-only version of the community app. The response was overwhelming: over 250 members joined. “All those early adopters are going to love the ways the mobile app improves on the web experience!” explains Eleanor Rust, Music Tectonics community manager. “It’s easy to find other members and connect with them, share posts to other social networks and messaging apps, and get notified when members respond to your posts.”
“We want to practice what we preach to artists and entrepreneurs in the industry: own your data, own your relationships,” Vietze explains. “We are happy to play with all parties, but do not want to put our fate in the hands of someone else’s advertising goals or hardware sales. So we rolled the dice on creating our own app. Now it is our challenge to make it valuable enough for you to choose to spend your time there.” Join the growing community and take part in our launch events the week of July 13: get the app on the App Store or on Google Play.