The Music Ally debate I mentioned the other day was a pretty cool event. A good panel discussion, lots of interesting people and nice nibbles. It was good to catch up with Alan Patrick again. Digging around the blogs, it seems Stuart Dredge from Tech Digest was there too.
After Justin from Rivers Run Red talked about some of their events (as well as some interesting comments on scaleability, tax and anti-griefing), the biggest portion of the evening was the discussion panel. It included…
- Christian from Sulake (who has the best business card I’ve ever seen; it’s in the form of some stickers) reminded us all that Habbo has no user-generated content, and is instead a toybox of Sulake-generated content. 80-90% of their money comes from selling furniture to their users. Personally, it’s the fact that virtual worlds like Second Life are almost entirely user-generated that make them compelling. I’ve never tried Habbo though.. so perhaps I’m missing something.
- Hans from ProMediaLabs talked about the Hedrons gig they ran, as well as their new system for online jamming which is being demonstrated in Second Life soon. (Incidently, the online jam tool they’ve created reminds me of Ninjam, though I should really try it out to compare them properly).
- Daniel Heaf from the BBC told the audience that hosting the One Big Weekend in Second Life was the obvious thing to do, given their mission to bring people as close to the music as possible.
- Barney Wragg from EMI (recently moved from Universal) raised some very relevant points regarding copyright. He pondered how anyone would be able to measure promotional and commercial return on virtual events. The discussion on IP rights was pretty heated (Barney’s obvious take: there has to be compensation for IP rights owners). One questioner asked whether steaming needs to be, or can bem monitored.
Given the audience (a good cross section of music industry and tech), I would have liked to spend longer thinking and talking about copyright and IP rights. I can’t help thinking that artists and labels have barely begun to discover the potential of virtual worlds, but that perhaps some of the biggest possibilities will mean letting go of the reigns slightly and allowing the fans to be the evangelists.