✖️ The fall and rise of attention: towards a direct-to-audience economy

And: Music NFTs GMI; An inclusive world of Crypto; TuneCore launches social platform; Roc Nation, Netflix, virtual metaverse experience; Spotify podcast data vs music data; Tidal tiers

Everybody wants your attention, so why should we listen to a specific piece of music? How to stand out from the noise is a question everybody in the music industry faces. Today, I try to find a way out of this thinking about attention as something that is consumed by information. Instead, I focus on how community and direct-to-audience community building can lead to sustainable growth for musicians and fans alike. Taking a leaf from Tarzan Economics, I tell you what the next vine is we need to grab hold of as we move through a surge in development that looks to shift the techno-economic paradigm of the current music industry.

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TECH

🟢 Music NFTs GMI (BlockchainBrett)

“It’s still early. Catalog recently $1m in Music NFT sales. There are blossoming music communities like Songcamp, and many new apps coming for the creation, distribution, engagement, and social layers of Music NFTs. There’s still so much to play out - so stay tuned!”

👨 Roc Nation to launch ‘The Harder They Fall’ virtual experience (Stuart Dredge)

“Described as a “virtual metaverse experience” it’s based on the film’s setting of Redwood City, with recreations of sets and scenes from the film. There’s also a merchandise store, a game, and the full soundtrack to listen to.”

🏀 Warner Music relaunches its services division as WMX (Andy Malt)

The all new WMX division will include things like the major’s branded content, direct-to-fan and merchandise operations, lots of audience strategy gubbins, and Warner’s own media and digital platforms, including Songkick, HipHopDX and Uproxx.

🫒 “It’s like having a focus group for each track”: how a sea-change in A&R and music discovery is leveling the playing field for artists (Andreea Gleeson)

“One thing that major record labels have that independents don’t are huge promo departments whose only job is to push records to radio. As short form videos on platforms like TikTok, YouTube Shorts and Reels continue to grow in popularity, the importance of music discovery in traditional media channels like radio is declining. These days, music discovery is happening on social media: if the music is good, fans will find it and crowdsource its popularity.”

✈️ Announcing ‘See You Next Year,’ a Pigeons & Planes compilation album (Jacob Moore)

“But it’s more than just an album—SYNY will also be an ever-evolving music discovery platform that gives listeners an opportunity to get to know each artist on a deeper level.”

X

🏳️‍🌈 Building an inclusive world of crypto (Kinjal Shah)

This is one of the most important tropes in Web3 right now. If it is indeed a system built to be more equitable, we have to all work hard to guard against complacency and for inclusivity.

“A study released by Gemini earlier this year found the average cryptocurrency owner is a 38-year-old male making approximately $111,000 a year. In addition, 74 percent of crypto holders are men, and 71 percent are white. And yet, many people in the Web3 community continue to evangelize a narrative of breaking down gatekeepers and scaling cryptography as a mechanism to build trustless networks that can benefit everyone.”

🛂 Spain ends visa requirement for British artists, though post-Brexit touring challenges continue (Chris Cooke)

“Spain – a key touring market for many UK acts – fell into the latter group, meaning artists and crew faced new costs and administration when playing shows in the country. For many artists, those new costs would make gigging in Spain unviable. But after much campaigning, by both the UK and Spanish music communities, the rules have now changed.”

🆓 Tidal introduces a new free tier and splits its HiFi tier in two (Mary Stone)

“Tidal is also introducing new initiatives designed to appeal to music fans concerned about how their subscription cost is divided up by providing artists with payments that directly represent each user’s listening habit. Starting today, ‘direct-to-artist’ payments will distribute up to 10% of your HiFi Plus subscription to the artists that you listen to the most each month, in addition to standard streaming royalties.”

Let’s see how this works out, but let’s applaud the initiative.

Spotify’s new Podcast Subscriptions expand to global markets (Sarah Perez)

“The company also launched a feature that would allow creators to download a list of their subscribers’ contact information, so they could further develop their direct relationship with their audience.”

Can we get this for music too, please Spotify. K thanks.

🎄 Get an ethical Christmas tree and support out-of-work musicians with this company (Alice Saville)

“The operation started last winter during lockdown 2.0 to give out-of-work musicians a festive gig. Now, it’s branched out across London and the South East with a delivery service run by entertainers: there’s even the option to delight kids or embarrass your friends by getting the couriers to perform a custom message on delivery.”

MUSIC

An artist reimagining what an instrument can be. That’s what Theon Cross does with the tuba. I don’t remember this much excitement about the tuba since before I was born probably. Truly great music as well!