by Francis Bea
photo via jdotshots.com
A packed Gramercy Theatre was host to the 2012 FlashFWD Awards where complimentary Heineken was imbibed by entrepreneurs, writers, brands, and agencies who mingled among music-minded people. Influential brands and people including Pepsi, Vice Magazine, and Scooter Braun congregated to celebrate the very technology companies that deserve credit for innovating the music industry.
The evening began with a jazz number by the band in residence, Jonathan Batiste, a breath of fresh air at a time when our airwaves are riddled with top 40 and hip-hop. The show then segued into the awards, which welcomed a few surprises.
Talib Kweli made a guest appearance to honor Spotify with the Award for Best in Discovery, a music-tech platform that he firmly believed shaped a new model for consuming music. Kweli relayed the story of how his project Idle Warship released their debut album, “Habits of the Heart,” last year exclusively on the service for two weeks.
Spotify was followed by Andrea Harrinson of Pepsi, who presented BandPage with the award for Best in Artist Support. During the presentation, the beverage company made an exclusive announcement on behalf of its Pepsi Digital Labs, which has been aggressively pursuing its foray into digital media and tech, that it would begin seeking out start-ups to help mentor and incubate out of NYC’s co-working space, WeWork Labs.
BandPage founder and CEO, J Slider proceeded to cryptically clued FlashFWD attendees with a hint about a new product, intended to “engage people more deeply.”
Tommy Silverman, founder of New Music Seminar, awarded Scott Snibbe of Snibbe Interactive with the Award for Best in Mobile & Tablet.
Toby Daniels, CEO of CrowdCentric, and Ellie Rountree of Google Plus presented the Award for Best in Live to Square, a company deserving of the award for simplifying credit card processing for touring musicians.
In the final presentation of the evening, Steve Stoute of Translation LLC left attendees with a few words of wisdom before presenting the SoundWAV Award to Scooter Braun. Scooter talked about how all successful people and enterprises start small, and how he thought at times he had lost his way.
Slick Rick performed a few songs to close the evening.
The music industry is constantly changing, and if you’re afraid of falling behind, you should have to foresight to adopt or innovate like the tech companies honored at FlashFWD are doing today.