X4Y Filmmakers

X4Y x SXSW 2022: Creators, Music & Brands, Oh My!

We just got back from a week in Austin, and while our bellies are still filled with (arguably) the country’s best barbecue, our heads haven’t stopped sparking with new exciting ideas.


The SXSW Conference & Festivals delivered on its famous energy, innovations and connections in one of the country’s most action-packed – and proudly weird – destinations.

This March, our whirlwind trip saw X4Y’s brand and creator teams meeting up with interesting new brand partners, mingling with passionate creators, and soaking up the latest trends from a buffet of industry leaders.

Sprawled out over much of downtown, SXSW happens as much in Austin’s bars, restaurants, and courtyards as it does in its hotel ballrooms and convention center halls. It’s hard not to get FOMO as several unmissable events start all at the exact same time. Sometimes you just have to roll the dice, pick one and go.

SXSW serves up a unique opportunity for newer companies to introduce themselves to the world, and for more-established companies to show off their latest offerings. This year, relatively newer technologies like NFTs, crypto and Web3 had a huge footprint, while legacy brands, like Porsche, delivered immersive experiences that got people buzzing.

Of course, this being SouthBy, there were also surprise multi-media art installations in unexpected places, endless parties, all-night music, and, of course, a giant jackalope.

X4Y's Michael Walters (left) and Dan Sorgen (Center) with Digital LA's Kevin Winston
X4Y's Michael Walters (left) and Dan Sorgen (Center) with Digital LA's Kevin Winston

Some key takeaways:

Throughout the week, the X4Y team took in the latest trends transforming both the marketing industry and the creator economy, and brought back unique ideas to empower our creator community and brand partners.

👍 Creator Communities are In – Creators love being able to team up and produce work together, especially if their skills and disciplines are complementary. Creating can be a lonely pursuit, and many of the creators we chatted with said they’d love to get help from peers. X4Y will have a robust communication, collaboration and compensation system built in.

👎 Platform-specific Creator Marketplaces are Out – Creators aren’t too thrilled with creator marketplaces that only let them sell their work in one place, like on TikTok. Many creators say these marketplaces limit their potential sales because, once produced, the content can only be used on a single platform. X4Y lets creators make what they want, preserving the creators’ vision, then sells it to brands to use on multiple platforms.

👍 Quick, Easy, Smart Marketing is In – A number of new startups cater to brands’ need to distribute high-end creative, swiftly and seamlessly. Some offer instant access to large podcast networks, or provide streaming apps that let companies essentially create their own TV networks. However, we didn’t come across any other platforms that offer professional-quality, ready-to-brand and ready-to-distribute content from talented creators. We were also encouraged by the reception to X4Y’s “unbranded content” marketplace.

👎 Traditional (Expensive) Advertising is Out – Most brands we spoke with complained about the long timelines and high cost (and high risk) of traditional marketing production. Many small- and even medium-sized businesses simply can’t afford to pay an ad agency, and prefer a model that lets them choose the right content for them, already produced and ready to run. With X4Y, companies can search existing content and engage the creators to add branding so it’s ready in days, not months.

X4Y will have a robust messaging, collaboration and compensation system built in.

It's a jackrabbit. It's an antelope. Nope, it's..
It's a jackrabbit. It's an antelope. Nope, it's..

Reserve your spot with early access.

Just answer a few questions for an early invitation