✖ The metaverse's new media contexts for music
And: BTS fanbase census; 138 music promotion tools; music stems as NFTs; how Spotify communicates price hikes to users; the lonely reality of singles
I assumed that, similar to NFTs, the metaverse was seeing a huge surge of interest right now in ways that would dwarf all past interest. I was wrong and stumbled upon decades old thoughts & discussions similar to the ones we have today. Take a flashback to 2007 and learn about:
The four metaverse futures of 2007 which all coexist today.
How music currently exists in these metaverse contexts.
Which converging trends will dominate the next phase of metaverse development and opportunities for innovative artists & music tech companies.
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🗺 I’m doubt there’s ever been a more energised global fanbase than that of BTS. A new census aimed to identify who these fans are. While the results themselves are not surprising (mostly female, Gen Z), the fact that they managed to get over 400K responses in 46 languages is striking.
👆 Spotify is experimenting with price hikes across various countries. How it does that, particularly in its communication to its users, is interesting to watch. In Luxembourg (and possibly other countries), Spotify is increasing its family plan price from €14.99 to €15.99 per month. Account holders have to accept the price change by clicking a button in an email - when they don’t, other users on the account get a suggestion to remind the account holder so they keep premium access (Spotify has historically handled subscriptions outside of the context of their apps, due to Apple iOS terms & conditions - something which the Swedish company has filed a complaint about with the EU). Screenshots.
🧰 Amber Horsburgh compiled an impressive list of digital tools for music promotion. 138 of them.
👛 Micropayments: common in gaming, less so in music. Omar Ismail provides a meta perspective on the topic and describes the use cases for micropayments and the hurdles (e.g. transaction costs and interoperability).
⛓ In the future, everything will be an NFT for 15 minutes. Programmable art startup Async is experimenting with turning song stems into NFTs, so owners of those stems can decide what the current master track sounds like.
(I’ve extensively written about non-static music and believe it’s the most important challenge & development for music in the 21st century. I’ve you’re doing something in this area, I’d love to hear about it - tweet me @basgras)
(We missed the link to Bonnaroo’s concert series in the last newsletter. Here it is.)
🚪 Nightlife purpose agency VibeLab lays out the five steps to reopening nightlife, with lots of examples including studies and experiments.
🌄 Many countries around the world have already reopened nightlife, either through efficient containment of the virus or Bolsonaro-style not giving a damn if people die. This means it’s becoming more common to see announcements about events, like a cave rave in Vietnam, which has been remarkable in containing outbreaks. Let’s hope the wildlife isn’t disturbed.
🛋 Spotify recently announced a ‘work from anywhere’ policy (check out the MUSIC x REMOTE database for more remote-friendly music companies). It’s now looking into how to make its offices feel more like home, in order to integrate learnings from working from home over the past year. More cosiness!
💰 Google, Facebook and Amazon now collect more than half of all ad dollars spent in the U.S. The pandemic economy got them there.
💘 Shon Faye writes about the lonely reality of singles during the pandemic. A tough part of the current cultural moment and its tremors that will be felt for years and see expression in music & fan culture.
Instead of drinking coffee, I’ve been listening to industrial hardcore by Tymon this morning. Not for the faint-hearted.
Make sure to tune in to Karajan Music Tech conference throughout the week. I’ve curated a lot of the talks & panels on the program and will be moderating a bunch too. It would be great to see some of you in the chat during the livestreams.