TechPitch4.5 by 2pears was held at LewisSilkin’s offices near Chancery Lane.  The purpose of the event was to explore all things techie in the music industry.  This typically means tools for consumers and management, rather than music production technology.

The event was a small but busy room, packed with industry types.  It was a closely-focussed crowd, of approx 30, with little evidence of stragglers, hangers-on and folks looking to escape the office.  That kept the networking tight, and the delegates had clearly made an effort – with several having flown in for the event.

The format was based around quickfire short pitches.  This kept the pace of the event up, but it was fairly hard work, and a less punishing agenda would have suited some delegates.

Talks were given by a range of pretty heavy-hitting brands.  One particular favorite of mine was Will Mills from Shazzam.  I’d heard this team talk before.  As before, I was impressed by both the presentation quality, and the keen business spirit the firm displays.  Unlike many web brands, they take monetization seriously, and bring in major revenue streams from downloads.  They also make a great deal of effort to stretch the capabilities and use cases of their app.  I’d already seen their second-screen ideas before, which are based around enabling a premium content stream for advertisers.  However, what was new to me was the ambient playlist function, which catalogues all the music you hear passively.  The use cases for this are endless – tracklists from radio and club nights created automatically, pub quiz cheating and winning arguments with the wife, to name but a few.

The panel discussions were a good way to break up the talks, and I was pleased to see the excellent Brittney Bean chairing one of them.  One significant drawback, however, was the difficulty in hearing clearly.  As is commonly the case, not all speakers were native English speakers, and the flat floor format and sub-optimal acoustics did make it hard to hear at times.  This wasn’t an event killer, but it could be tweaked for next time, and an auditorium-style room would be better, in my opinion.

Brittney is from Songdrop, a startup with a team of considerable talent.  They’re Wayra accelerator graduates, and have recently pivoted their offering from an aggregator of free online music, to an app-based jukebox for public venues.  This new concept allows customers to play music from their phone to the soundsystem of a pub or bar – legally.

The audience and venue selection oozed quality, and the event is certainly a good touch point for industry news and perspectives.  If you’re looking to get up to speed in an afternoon, and make some great music industry connections to boot, this event is likely to suit.