✖️ Data Autonomy, The Creator Economy and Web3
And: Leaving Records' Genre DAO; Chinese virtual idol signs with major; Ibiza's party detectives; Metaverse dystopia; Labels as VCs; Spotify Q2 investor call; Gen Z in 2031
This week will only see 1 newsletter and you’re reading it. I’ll try to make it count. Next week we’re back to the usual schedule.
In September I’ll be taking some time off, so there may be room for one or two guest editions that month. If you’re keen to do one, please ping me on Twitter (@basgras) with a link to something you’ve written before and any ideas you may have for a special edition that uniquely fits your profile.
Today I wrote about how the Web3 and the Creator Economy coalesce. Specifically, I look at how certain use cases of NFTs will create pressure on incumbent Web2 platforms such as Spotify, Facebook, and Twitter to give greater data autonomy to their users.
Facebook wasn't MySpace's web 2.0 successor: they were both web 2.0. Facebook's web 1.0 predecessor was Geocities. The web 3 leap is larger: the successors to Spotify, Facebook and Twitter will look nothing like them, but will be able to solve the same problems & address the same needs. This time around, you'll be able to move your data out. The incentive not to do so? You'll own a part of them.
🌩 The Metaverse has always been a dystopian idea (Brian Merchant)
With Sillicon Valley CEOs starting to define ‘the metaverse’, with Zuckerberg mentioning the term 20 times in Facebook’s most recent 1-hour earnings call, Brian Merchant has a good reminder that in sci-fi, ‘metaverse’ is a dystopian concept. What excites me about the metaverse is a new chance for decentralization and a challenge to concentrations of power, there are also forces at play looking to coopt and own it. Or in Merchant’s words:
“It is an odd vision built from a compendium of juvenile fantasies, perceived market opportunities, and overt dystopias.”
⛓ A brief introduction to Derive (Troels Abrahamsen)
“A new and experimental web3 platform for 7-track compilations called chains put in the world to explore new models for funding, curating and distributing music.”
🧐 Genre DAO: How an LA record label is pushing into the crypto era (Will Gottsegen)
“In its current form, $GENRE tokens just get you access to a private channel on Leaving Records’ public Discord server, which [founder Matthew David] McQueen sees as a space for potential community events. The channel has already hosted a “hang & DJ sesh” exclusively for token-holders, and “Web 3 education” workshops are planned for the near future. The artwork for one of Leaving Records’ recent releases—a collaboration between the guitarists William Tyler and Luke Schneider—was sourced from a community member on Discord.”
🗓 31 ideas for music + crypto (Jack Spallone)
You may have stumbled upon the Twitter thread in March, but now there’s an in-depth blog post to accompany all of Jack’s ideas.
🦾 This virtual artist just inked a major record deal in China. One-off gimmick – or a sign of the future? (Tim Ingham)
“Our first ‘virtual idol’ signing is Ha Jiang, who already has more than 100,000 followers in China. Essentially, she’s a social influencer, known for her sense of style and fashion. The city of Shanghai even hired her to promote safe driving! A move into music is a natural next step. Her image is all about positivity and good vibes and her style is perfect for the dance genre.”
- Jon Serbin, CEO of Warner Music Greater China and Head of Whet Records
🎟 How to help clubs reopen safely and for the long haul (Patrick Hinton, Megan Townsend, Tope Olufemi, Gemma Ross)
“It's important to stay vigilant - for your own sake, for your friends, for the staff working at nightclubs and to ensure that clubs can stay open for the long-term, and this won't be temporary freedom, but a permanent one.”
🔮 10 key predictions from our latest trend report ‘2031: A Future World’ (Dazed Studio / Ashleigh Kane)
“Just nine per cent of the Gen Z surveyed want to stay on social media, with Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat named as the three platforms on the proverbial chopping block of those they had considered leaving or had already.”
🏦 Labels are going to become more like VCs than they probably want to be (Mark Mulligan)
“Like it or loathe it, savvy, empowered artists will increasingly see labels as the launchpad for future independence, and in this respect, labels are becoming more like VCs than ever.”
👓 3 things we learned from Daniel Ek on Spotify’s Q2 investor call (Murray Stassen)
“[Daniel Ek] reiterated this objective last week, explaining that the platform Spotify is trying to build “is all about moving from 8 million to 50 million creators and from 400 million to more than one billion users on our platform”.”
A six fold increase of creators versus a two and a half fold increase of users… The competition for attention (and streaming revenue) is about to get way more intense.
🕵️ 'Party detectives' to be sent out across Ibiza as COVID cases skyrocket (Gemma Ross)
“"Party detectives" will be sought out to aid the police and asked to join illegal raves dressed in plain clothes where they will report anything that breaches local lockdown restrictions to official authorities.”
MUSIC x is supported by an awesome community of Patreon members. Thank you. New Patrons in italics - welcome!
Tim Degraye, Andraž, Andres Lauer, Andrew Apanov, Arjen van der Straaten,Bo Plantinga, C.Y., Casper Schadt, Chuck Fishman, Eli Goldstein, Greg Cerveny, Henry Prince, Hunter Giles, Jason Fahlstrom, Kalam Ali, Maarten Walraven-Freeling, Marc Geiger, Martin Nedvěd, Matthias Röder, Nicolás Madoery, Paula Moore, Pete Cohen, Oskar Ekman, Rian, Richard Wernicke, Ro Halfhide, Tim Shaw, Tristra Yeager, Virgo Sillamaa, Carlo Kiksen, Cherie Hu, Deenah Bassiouny, Dick Huey, Gohree Kim, James Keene, Keagon Voyce, Lukas Hermeling, Nur Al Habash, Pietro Fuccio, Sinh Blum.
Innovation thrives when information flows freely. MUSIC x will always be a free newsletter. If you can afford it, consider joining one of the Patreon tiers if the pricing makes sense compared to what you get out of this. You can also do us a favour by sharing the newsletter on your favourite Discord, Slack, Facebook, or LinkedIn community.
(If you don’t want to have your name listed in the newsletter, feel free to send me a message after signing up)
Have been listening a lot to the misfits 2.0 playlist on Spotify. Lots of hyperpop, punk, emo, with a hint of Gen Z queerness. Have been particularly enjoying the tracks by GIRLI, WILLOW, Laura Les, Alice Glass, POORSTACY, Poppy, YONAKA and binki on there.