Standing testimony to the power of networking and synergistic collaboration, the series of Digital & Music Matters conferences have chalked up an impressive array of accomplishments since the very first conference in 2006. Organised by the marketing agency Branded, the DMM conferences were designed for a seemingly simple yet far-reaching objective; to foster positivity, innovation, collaboration and transparency within the entertainment business. One particularly illustrative example would be the formation of the Singapore Music Society at the DMM conference held last year in 2012.
Since their creation, the SgMuso (a non-profit society that supports the artistry, business and production dimensions of the music industry in Singapore and around the world) has been working hard to bring more opportunities to local artists. Not too long ago SgMuso invited Steve Lillywhite to Singapore and introduced him to some of our young local bands.
Mr. Lillywhite, a five-time Grammy Award winning record producer credited on more than 500 records, was so impressed by the music and creative talent displayed that he agreed to collaborate with SgMuso and record four talented Singaporean bands;
The ‘Steve Lillywhite Production Week’ commenced on the first of April this year at Yellowbox Studios and marked a historic moment in Singapore’s music scene.
Like one SgMuso executive committee member enthused fittingly on her blog, “As much as we ourselves believe in S-ROCK, it is re-assuring and comforting to find someone of Lillywhite’s stature to be equally (if not more) excited about the potential and possibilities of the S-ROCK scene.”
Being capable of leading to such results, it is of little wonder why the DMM conference is widely hailed by many eminent leaders in the entertainment industry as the most prominent annual gathering of key leaders and entrepreneurs in that same industry worldwide.
DMM remains the only conference in Asia to focus on all matters in entertainment verticals, as well as key global trends and themes – including but not limited to topics such as the monetisation of digital content, live entertainment, premium video publishing, mobile TV, online entertainment, brands, and social media.
Some high-profile attendees for this year’s conference included Taras Bugir (the Worldwide Managing Director of Microsoft), Ralph Simon (the Chairman Emeritus and Founder of MEF Americas and CEO of The Mobilium Advisory Group), Johnny Wright (Manager of Justin Timberlake and President and CEO of the Wright Entertainment Group), and from Singapore, Lawrence Wong (Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information), Florence Lian (Managing Director of Radio at Mediacorp), and Tan Tong Hai (CEO of StarHub).
That being said, the term ‘conference’ doesn’t quite encapsulate the scope and tone of Digital & Music Matters; every year DMM acts as an instrumental platform for showcasing up and coming performing talent (this year featuring SPICA, Gurrumul Yunupingu, and Me N Ma Girls, among others) to corporate leaders in the entertainment industry. A typical day at DMM is peppered with live performances amidst a tightly-packed schedule of speeches and interviews that run from nine in the morning to about ten at night. A typical night however can last past midnight with ticketed performances that are also open to the general public.
This year’s conference was particularly notable for immersing its audience in the very subject matter on which they were convened to dissertate, for all three days of the DMM were recorded and streamed onto YouTube live, highlighting the power of social media and holding formal discussion about such issues in the meanwhile. The live keynote interview with American performer Amanda Palmer via Google Hangout was yet another particularly memorable example of such clever juxtaposition.
DMM 2013 also had a separate press conference with popular YouTube celebrities such as Ryan Higa, Chester See and Joseph Vincent (just to name a few) who were hailed as the newest breed of content makers in digital space. The YouTube FanFest was organised as part of the DMM to cater to both digital media industry professionals and YouTube fans in Singapore. Comprising of speeches and performances, the FanFest was yet another one of the creative ways in which DMM engaged its industry directly, keeping the spirit of digital media entertainment thrumming throughout the function.
In this regard, it was heartening to take in the passion behind the formal exterior of ‘career’ – for it was clear whatever one might think of their business strategies and theories, that the organizers and speakers were intently absorbed in dissecting the nuts and bolts of their industry. Their concerns did not center solely on profits, but also on more abstract, philosophical quandaries like ‘What is at the heart of entertainment?’.
In consequence, even without a background in business or media, I found myself gripped by the wealth, potential and diversity of our human sensibility which seemed to be brought to light rather unintentionally through the course of this conference. While I would love to go deeper into the details of my observations, these reflections would be most coherent in another article of their own. Until then, I invite all readers to click on the following link to get a personal taste of what DMM is all about.
On this note, I thank Branded for organizing DMM 2013 and recommend future DMM conferences not only for those working in the music or digital media industries but for anyone who would value a realistic insight into the workings of one of the most largest, dynamic and alluring industries of our era.
For photos, videos and other information regarding DMM 2013, please click http://www.allthatmatters.asia/.
For an insider’s scoop on the exclusive YouTube Fanfest, please click http://kentridgecommon.com/?p=19153.