+ Conflicts between emerging tech and established media
SXSW 2024 - Conference Community Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Fat Tuesday brought the announcement of two additional Keynotes for the 2024 SXSW Conference. On Sunday, March 10, Sue Bird and Jessica Robertson will talk about the investment and growth in women's sports. Meanwhile, Dr. Joy Buolamwini (author of Unmasking AI: My Mission to Protect What Is Human in a World of Machines) will bring her expertise to the Keynote stage on Wednesday, March 13.

This week’s announcement also included roughly 50 more Featured Speakers, including Dara Khosrowshahi (Uber), Elaine Welteroth (author), Sarah Herrlinger (Apple) and Vinod Khosla (Khosla Ventures). Many of these Featured Speakers will be addressing evergreen topics such as creativity, innovation, resilience and the importance of philanthropy. Others will focus on current events, ranging from climate change to deep fakes to homelessness to next-generation transportation solutions to Web3.

Speaking of current events, we asked a handful of 2024 SXSW panelists who wins the current standoff between TikTok and Universal Music. Read on for their insightful answers.

Cal Thompson / Potty Talk: Service Design Post-Binary: In a standoff, both parties lose. Coming together and finding common ground, mutually beneficial goals, and a structure that would benefit the creatives making the music, would be winning.

Dr. Lara Ramdin / From Garbage to Gold: Transforming Food Waste into Profits: Tik Tok 0 - Universal 1. Musicians/artists should be fairly compensated for their music - and there are other platforms that apparently have found a more equitable way for this to be managed. SO the musicians (and the end consumer) will win overall :-)

Reggie Harris / Psychedelic Entrepreneurship and the Underground Economy: TikTok wins because TikTok can survive outside of Universal’s catalog; also TikTok serves as new age distribution and promo.

Sydney Williams / Hiking Your Feelings: Blazing a Trail to Self-Love: If we're strictly talking about TikTok and UMG, TikTok loses and UMG wins. But the real question is about the artists who are being pulled, the communities around the music, and how content creators fit into that fold. TikTok is huge for music discovery for lesser-known or new-to-you artists, so I'd hate to see that part come to a halt. But if there's a chance that this leads to a Taylor Swift-style rethinking or revolution about how artists are compensated for short form viral content on the various platforms, then this could be a step in the right direction.

Zsofia Kollar / What is the Value of Human Waste?: This is like cutting off the branch that you are sitting on.

Browse all the content in the Music & Tech track (March 11-15) to learn more about how short viral content, artificial intelligence, immersive headsets and other new developments are impacting the way we receive, experience and enjoy today's hottest sounds. And hear more from the industry experts who will be in Austin in March at our SX Speaker Series at sxsw.com

Attend all this amazing SXSW 2024 content by registering to attend. Special discounts are available for groups as well as students and recent graduates. After you register, book your hotel via SXSW Housing & Travel.

Finally, Austin-area readers can learn more about all things March Magic by attending either the LGBTQ+ Meet Up on Tuesday, February 20 or the SXSW Community Meet Up on Tuesday, February 27.

You could go left but know I'm right,

Hugh Forrest
Co-President / Chief Programming Officer

Dr. Joy Buolamwini photo by Naima Green, Sue Bird and Jessica Robertson photos courtesy of the speakers.