The five-day South by Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSWi) kicks off this weekend in Austin, TX.
The festival’s organizers promise a full schedule of “compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders, the SXSW Trade Show and an unbeatable lineup of special programs showcasing the best new digital works, video games and innovative ideas the international community has to offer.”
The event is part of the larger SXSW Conferences & Festivals, which also cover the worlds of music and film over the course of 10 days.
Some SXSW media news of note:
Executives from Echo will moderate two Social TV panels at SXSWi.
The first, “Get Ready to Rumble! How WWE Is Crushing Social TV,” is scheduled for Saturday, March 9, 11 a.m.-noon at the Sheraton Austin Capitol, Room EFGH. The panel will showcase the WWE’s social TV stats and feature wresting superstar John Cena. Khris Loux, CEO of Echo, will moderate.
The second, “Death of the Couch Potato: The Future of Social TV,” is set for Sunday, March 10, 5-6 p.m. at the Austin Convention Center, Room 18ABCD. Discussion will center on about what the future of social TV will be for major media brands such as ESPN and USA Network, and will feature Hermione Way (pictured) of Bravo’s “Start-ups: Silicon Valley.” Moderating the panel will be Jason Hoch, SVP of Customer Strategy & Product for the WWE.
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Time Warner Cable Media (TWCMedia) is set to debut its new brand campaign, “That’s How” at SXSW this year. The campaign is designed to provide local businesses with greater exposure to the influencers and media in town. Through an integrated effort, TWCMedia plans to provide “the ultimate SXSW insider’s experience.”
TWCMedia’s presence will leverage its existing relationships with key retailers, bars, and restaurants. A TWCMedia street team clad in “That’s How” T-shirts will connect with attendees by delivering guides, wristbands for free branded pedicab rides, and the kinds of scoops only locals can provide via Twitter and Instagram on where to go, what to see and how to get into the various events in town.
In addition, TWCMedia’s team will also interview wristband-wearing visitors at local businesses and showcase their “That’s How” stories as part of an even more comprehensive effort that will involve an online component (promotion on rr.com and the TWCM Audience Network), and a feature on twcmedia.com.
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SoundCloud will be making an announcement at SXSWi on Monday, March 11 at 9 a.m. ET. The news will focus on a new beta that includes some top brands and music and audio partners along with new subscriptions for creators offering more features at lower prices. While in Austin, SoundCloud will be demoing the new brand and partner beta program live (March 12-13), which will also include live music and podcast events.
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Pandora will return to SXSW to host the second annual Pandora Discovery Den at Antone’s, the legendary Austin venue. Pandora will offer live music to fans for free, both in-person and online via a live audio stream.
The Pandora Discovery Den will have four days of live music and host a diverse artist lineup, including: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Josh Ritter, Chali 2NA (from Jurassic 5), Allen Stone with more acts to be announced soon. Pandora Discovery Den attendees will also be treated to custom activations from NBC’s “The Voice,” Qualcomm Snapdragon and Norton by Symantec.