The main topics of the conversations were around NFTs and the Metaverse. Read Arena's SXSW highlights.
March 21, 2022
After 10 days with an agenda of promising technology outtakes and a variety of online events to watch, SXSW came to an end and left us excited with how technology is merging with the real world. Aside all the issues with online transmission, from the sound volume being too low, to unavailable chat for online viewers: it was, as usual, a massive opportunity to learn and understand what is happening in the world of technology.
With a final weekend full of exciting music attractions, such as first timer participant country singer and superstar, Dolly Parton, who partnered with FOX Entertainment’s Blockchain Creative Labs (BCL) to launch her first NFT experience “Dollyverse”, unarguably, the main topic of the conversations was around NFTs and the Metaverse. So let’s jump into the highlights of the weekend.
Vladislav Finzburg (Blockparty), came back to SXSW 2022 a year later after talking about the initial stages of NFTs, bringing along updates, mostly with the mainstream adoption. He brought interesting topics of the gap between digital and physical NFTs and how the rise of NFTs, pointing out how brands and companies jumped full into the NFTs world – with innovative creation and an increased number of online transactions- even though it’s still circling around a niched group of people.
Metaverse was also a major topic of discussion, and in this session, Sebastien Borget, the co-founder and COO of The Sandbox, shared his insights about emerging best practices and top considerations for brands as they bridge over to the metaverse.
Brands such as Adidas and Warner Music are already making massive entries into the Metaverse. One topic that got our attention was, “How should brands protect themselves in the Metaverse?”. Data Privacy has been a huge topic of discussion over the past few years. We recently mentioned a couple of ways that data can be protected in the Metaverse in our blog.
The most downloaded app in 2021 was the main topic of this session with Carey Sheridan, US Head of Music and Content at Tiktok and Sadie Jean, whose first-ever song “WYD Now?” has become a certified sensation on the app, all because of the power of the #OpenVerseChallenge — a viral format that invites creators to duet with her during an instrumental opening of her song. A great example of why the community-driven video platform is impacting the music industry.
The fusion of the physical and virtual worlds in the entertainment world has brought so many opportunities to artists helping them understand their fans, and to fans living an elevated and personalized experience with concerts. For instance, Live Chat and Customer Data Platforms have been good examples of technologies that can be used to create a Live Stream event.
This edition of SXSW showed us that the future is here and we are already living in it. NFTs and Metaverse are already being worked into new technologies, and companies and specialists are very up front with innovative solutions and technology around various themes, like events, medicine, sports, entertainment and currency. And during these past 10 days, it showed us nothing less than a brilliant technological future for us.
It also was great to see it balanced with super sessions and themes about social justice & equity. Even though those who’re experiencing South by Southwest are somehow already connected with all the technology available, we have to see outside our own bubbles. A lot was said about what can be done to present opportunities and help bring the advantages that the technology has to where people have less access, and I believe this has to be the main topic of discussion for the next couple of years. We hope to see more conversations around access and inclusion in next year’s event. Are you already excited about SXSW 2023?