✖️ Announcing the Artist Lockdown Challenge | More on AI, music data, and the changing nature of music 🔲
A 30-minutes for 30-days free digital strategy course for musicians
Today I’m excited to finally reveal something I’ve been working on for a while now.
The Artist Lockdown Challenge is a free digital strategy course that gives musicians 30-minute tasks over 30-days. You can sign up now, and it kicks off on June 1.
As some of you know, it’s my goal this year to launch 1 online project per month and this will definitely be one of the larger ones. So far, I’ve launched MUSIC x GREEN, Hard Dance Berlin, MUSIC x CORONA, and we have now arrived at number 4.
In the context of the crisis, I have teamed up with my artist branding and digital marketing friend Carlo Kiksen to help artists out in the area we know best. What is particularly exciting is that we will have certain ‘guest assignments’ throughout the challenge, which are presented by various people from our networks.
Want to help? We would like to reach as many artists as possible with this, so the best thing you can do is spread the word.
Want to present one of the assignments? That’s awesome. Fill out the form. We’ll be in touch if we think it’s a great fit.
Below is a ‘one-pager’ of info about about the Artist Lockdown Challenge. You can also visit the landing page.
Artist Lockdown Challenge - 30 minutes, 30 days
A free digital strategy crash course for musicians at all stages of their career.
For 30 days, musicians will receive daily 30-minute tasks in their inboxes in order to improve their online presence.
Throughout the course, which includes guest lessons from experts in the industry, we'll cover:
How to find more relevant listeners for your music.
How to keep your listeners engaged with you.
What you can do to convert attention into revenue.
How to design a strategy relevant to you and your fans.
The goal: help artists find paths to resilience during the COVID-19 crisis.
How does it work
From June 1, we'll send participants an email every day using Substack. Throughout the 30 days, we'll help artists with music discovery, connecting to fans and retaining them, optimizing their existing digital assets, and generating revenues.
Joining the ALC also gives participants access to the community Discord, to ask questions and support each other. This will remain open after the 30 days.
The COVID-19 crisis has hit the music industry hard. Many artists have seen their main source of income wiped out, with live music needing years to recover from lockdowns and various other measures put in place. Holding out is not a viable strategy.
The most valuable thing musicians have now is their digital presence, which they’ve spent years building. The challenge will help them leverage this valuable, and invaluable, asset.
Brought to you by...
The Artist Lockdown Challenge is an initiative by Bas Grasmayer and Carlo Kiksen. Bas has a decade of experience in digital strategy inside and outside the music business, and has headed up product for 2 different music streaming services. Carlo is an experienced artist coach and music marketeer.
On AI, music data, the changing nature of music, and more
In the previous MxTxF edition, I mentioned Portrait XO and Dadabots music release which incorporates AI. Another song of theirs won the jury vote for Eurovision’s AI songwriting contest:
“It begins as a love song before taking a dark turn toward human extinction. The group, whose members are originally from the U.S. but were working in Berlin, generated “nonsensical babbling” from 1950s acapellas and tried to pick out a story. They created the rest with, among other things, death metal lyrics and a fake news generator.”
It will be interesting to see what role artificial intelligence can play in the proliferation of more edits and remixes of music; either through established music platforms or relative newcomers like TikTok. We’re not well-prepared for such scenarios, as music services currently still struggle with attribution around the classical way of remixing, as well as artist featurings.
Regarding the topic, I would like to point your attention to two pieces by Chuck Fishman, whose background includes having been Director of Music Solutions & Data at Gracenote. He’s been looking into the way track plays get counted on various streaming services, and how the role of featured artist or remixer affects these counts.
While it’s factually true — that an artist is being “featured” as a guest on another artists’ tune — or that a producer is offering a “remix” of an original tune for an artist — it’s better for artists to skip these music metadata fields completely.
Why? Dive into his piece about artist stream counts.
He expanded upon the topic in response to a claim that songs without features have led the charts for the longest stretch in over 2 decades, explaining that this may be due to aforementioned issues with stream counting.
Meanwhile, I think there are terrific opportunities for music to become more than what it currently is as a format. I decided to dive into the topic with Tim Exile, an amazing musician and founder of the recently launched social music-making app Endlesss. Thanks to Amplify Music for having us. (my audio is… not great — but it’s mostly about Tim’s story anyway, whose audio is crystal clear)
The last thing I will share with you today is Roey Tsemah’s redesign of Discogs. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because he’s also the founder of the now defunct Whitestone — which was to be a platform for interactive album artwork.
Finally, and quite unrelated to music & technology, I have a new mix out with Rave Session, a label and podcast series based in St. Petersburg, Russia. And rave it is - covering genres from happy hardcore to breakcore to donk, and ending on a whopping 250 bpm. Give it a listen.
Enjoyed this edition? Consider spreading the word.
Read previous edition: Instagram vs SoundCloud: the battle for the center of music culture.
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