Dear Startup: What can SXSW do for You?

SXSW 2016 is fast approaching and will kick off in Austin, Texas on March 11th. The festival is held every March and is known for its film, interactive media, music festivals, conferences, and as one of the top locations to launch a startup. In the past, the festival has launched many successful startups such as Twitter, Foursquare, GameSalad, PhoneBooth Free, and Foodspotting, and as the festival approaches, anticipation is building as the tech world searches for its next SXSW star. Concurrently, as the event draws nearer, traffic to the website is beginning to heat up and traffic has increased 55% since January 2016. (The data mentioned, as well as all data in this study, corresponds to worldwide desktop and mobile data.)




Last year we covered Meerkat and how their launch at SXSW 2015 helped kick off the brand and receive a huge boost in installs and use during March 2015. However, Meerkat was far from the only startup to launch at SXSW 2015 and the event’s Startup Spotlight had dozens of participants, each vying for brand recognition and hoping to make it big in the tech world. Of these startups, we looked at 10 which saw an immediate growth in traffic in the wake of SXSW 2015- Audiokite, Binstro, HelpSocial, Holonis, Jam, PlyfePriori Legal, RealcontactsSameGrain, and XLR8. Notably, both AudioKite, a platform that “helps music creators gain insight into the public perception and commercial viability of their music”, and Holonis, who’s stated goal is to “inspire and liberate human creativity with tools so powerful, simple to use, and cost effective that no business is left behind”, both saw big gains in March, and managed to continue their growth over the course of 2015. Many of the other startups were not as fortunate, and for them March 2015 represented their traffic peak for the year as they were unable to build on the success of March’s traffic. 




Regardless of yearly growth, all 10 of these startups saw traffic increases to their respective websites in March 2015, when compared to the previous month. Of these startups, Realcontacts, an app that “helps users develop their social skills and improve their relationships with their personal and professional networks”, was the biggest winner in month-over-month growth, as the site received 450% more traffic in March compared to February. Jam, which only described itself as “frictionless expression” was another website that saw a huge spike in March traffic, going from 400 visits in February to 1,700 in March, a spike of 325%. On the other hand, both HelpSocial and XLR8 saw increases in traffic, but not nearly as large. Traffic to HelpSocial’s website increased 21%, while XLR8’s site only grew only 14%.






This year, SXSW features a completely different slate of exciting startups, and using SimilarWeb’s outgoing links feature, we can discover which of this year’s Startup Spotlight companies received the most traffic from the SXSW website in February 2016. Of these Startup Spotlight companies, Roadie, an app that describes itself as an “on-the-way delivery network that gets your stuff where it needs to go”, has seen the most outgoing traffic from SXSW’s website. In second place, Ever App has also received a significant amount of SXSW’s referral traffic, and Phoodie, “a social network for food”, came in third.




Aside from the startups, SXSW also plays host to variety of other events of varying popularity. Using SimilarWeb’s popular pages function, we can actually discover which are the ten most visited pages on the SXSW subdomain and we found some surprising results. Of all the events scheduled for SXSW, the Documentary Feature Chicken People received the most traffic and brought the most visits to the SXSW schedule website. According to the SXSW website, Chicken People is a documentary that “follows the trials and tribulations of those who breed exotic birds in the world of competitive poultry”. After Chicken People, the second most popular event is equally as perplexing, and data shows that many are excited about the world premier of the newly re-imagined Cartoon Network’s Series, Powerpuff Girls – Horn Sweet Horn. This special event includes a parade and a screening of the new series and will take place on Monday March 14th at 8PM.

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If you plan on attending SXSW this year, you may want to check out some of the amazing events above, and also be sure to stop by our booth to learn how SimilarWeb can be used to discover, decide, and deploy an effective digital marketing strategy. We will be situated at booth number 1036, and if you’d like to get in touch with us before the event, feel free to contact us here, and make sure to follow us on Twitter @SimilarWeb for more updates.


Looking forward to seeing you there!




About the Author -

Infoluster | ADDer | Geek | Ninja | Shiri is the Global Marketing Manager at SimilaWeb. She plans and coordinates all trade shows, conferences and events. With 10 years of experience in digital marketing and PR, Shiri's favorite pastime is watching animated gifs.

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