Google For Creators Pumps Nashville Digerati

imagesGoogle stormed Nashville last week (April 18) with a first of its kind presentation entitled Google For Creators. The full-day agenda, engineered by Flo {thinkery}, took place at Anthem in The Gulch and covered various Google products such as YouTube and G+. Local digerati were out in full force. Seen paying attention were David Gales, Rachel Barnhard, Paul Schatzkin, Charles Alexander, Joe Galante, Steve Buchanan, Justin Levenson, Steve Bogard, Aileen Crowley, Heather McBee, Steve Fishell, Denise Stiff, Collin Willis and many more.

“If you’re doing music, then Google should be part of your toolkit,” advised Flo {thinkery} founder Mark Montgomery as he welcomed the crowd from the stage. “Nashville is becoming the epicenter of the new music biz, but we have to claim it.” The enthusiastic crowd of about 400 signaled its agreement with applause. “If you’re here today you’re lucky, because the entire event sold out in about one minute.” Montgomery added, “There are almost 1,000 people on the waiting list.”

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Mark Montgomery

Mayor Karl Dean welcomed the Google-ites and noted we were pleased to have them in our midst. “Nashville is built on creative energy from music, healthcare and a growing community of entrepreneurs and technologists,” said Dean. “We’re becoming a magnet for the creative class.”

The workshops were described in the following way. “Google experts will present real world case studies to demonstrate how artists thrive in the new music business. They’ll highlight successful strategies that use digital and social media tools to promote content and reach new fans. And you’ll learn powerful analytics that make it easier to deepen audience connections. Included will be valuable information on how to get the most out of digital platforms like YouTube and Google+ to create, share, promote, and get your creative content online.” And the G-men (and women) didn’t disappoint.

The sessions began with a YouTube overview that included how to enable monetization and a description of different ad formats such as InStream, Display, Overlay and Skippable InStream Ads. The crowd was warned,”Make sure you own the rights in entirety if you want to monetize a particular video.”

Another class dealt with the growth of Google Plus (G+) which now claims about 500 million users. The class leader was actually in another city, but used a G+ Hangout to talk with the audience. Hangouts work with up to 10 people. Hangouts on AIR sync with YouTube and can be broadcast to large numbers of viewers.

knobs350“Don’t Fetishize The Past” offered another speaker who focused on the Google Play store which sells music, Android Apps, books, movies and other media. Titled “Pushing People Up the Pyramid,” the idea was to show how artists begin by having lots of people consuming their music for free. The pyramid’s next level contained fans willing to spend some money; and at the very top is a small group of dedicated superfans that want to own everything the artist does. “Metadata is merchandising,” the instructor offered, highlighting the importance of including complete product metadata to take full advantage of digital store placements.

YouTube Director of Content Partnerships, Vivian Lewit, led a session that showed why YouTube is more than just a video channel, it is also a social network. “You can create links to other sites to buy tickets, merchandise and visit web sites. We have one billion unique visitors per month,” she said. “One of four YouTube views is now on mobile, but we believe that will grow in the future. We want to be seamless across all screens.” Lewit also noted that YouTube views now impact the Billboard music charts.

After a welcomed lunch break it was time for  a living room chat with video artist Jake Coco which began with his hit clip “Some Nights.” Coco started using YouTube in 2005 and now has almost 280k subscribers. The video artist has also collaborated on YouTube with other artists and formed a record label. “We’re selling about 70k downloads a month,” he told the crowd.

Coco posts a new video about every 10 days featuring a mix of covers and original music. “I also maintain a strict regiment of tweets and FB posts in order to stay in touch with my fans in between releases,” he said. “YouTube is the most important site to be on right now.”

Late afternoon breakout sessions gave way to music from artists Matt Kearney, Ashley Monroe and Sheryl Crow.

floBeing immersed for a full day inside planet Google provided ample opportunity to focus on ways to better take advantage of opportunities offered by networks such as G+, YouTube and the analytics they offer. If you were unable to attend, a YouTube Creator Playbook is available that offers tips and best practices, find it HERE.

Flo {thinkery} is to be congratulated for its work in bringing Google and Nashville together again this year. As Mayor Dean and Mark Montgomery both eloquently said, Nashville’s already making headlines with its music and technology expertise, but the addition of international partners like Google, surely speeds the process.

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Journalist, entrepreneur, tech-a-phile, MusicRow magazine founder, lives in Nashville, TN. Twitter him @davidmross or read his non-music industry musings at Secrets Of The List

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