✖️ The non-static tipping point: how culture’s going non-linear and generative
And: Lil Nas X growth hacks; Web3 ticketing; indie turning back on vinyl?; Covid outbreaks & the return to live; solving the music blackbox; Peloton's royalty rates
Deepfakes, infinite albums, generative NFTs – creative pioneers are rapidly pushing technology-enabled concepts into the center of web culture. Whereas just a few years ago, it was hard to get people to care about non-static media, it’s now grabbing people’s attention and their (crypto) currency.
🤠 Lil Nas X is Gen Z's defining icon (Rex Woodbury)
“In the age of TikTok, songs are often recognized by their lyrics. Under a fake account, Lil Nas X asked on Reddit, “What’s the name of the song that goes ‘take my horse to the old town road?’” He knew that when people Googled the lyrics after seeing viral memes, they’d find the Reddit thread with the song’s name.”
🪅 Could this technology, built by a Grammy-winning producer, blow up music’s ‘black box’ once and for all? (Tim Ingham)
If the startup lives up to its promises: “No longer will the global music business be reliant on its ability to identify performed songs and match them up with unreliable metadata. Instead, a master version of that metadata – uniquely identifiable and trackable – will literally live in the recording, at source, via SonicKey.”
🎟 Exploring Web3 ticketing (Friends With Benefits)
“Events take on a different set of social mechanics and incentives as a majority of its participants share the commonality of being a token holder. Post event airdrops and rewards will become commonplace as attendees can now be linked with on-chain creds.”
Of course NFT ticketing platforms like GUTS have already been a thing (for years), but it’s great to now see event gating happening using community tokens. It gels very well with concepts like (inter)local rave or event DAOs.
🚴 How the heck Is Peloton the best-paying music streaming service? (Nitish Pahwa)
This article takes a deep dive into Peloton’s music (and music licensing) strategy. While it’s not a major player in the streaming landscape, it does mean it has ended up paying some of the highest royalty rates across the spectrum.
📱 Avenged Sevenfold give small number of fans lifetime meet-and-greets via NFT (Emily Carter)
“They’re almost like clubs of people. NFT grants you access into certain things, so what I want to eventually create – and we’re gonna create very soon – is a token that allows you to get no line into shows, free merchandise, free tickets for life, meet-and-greets whenever you want at the live setting. So all these attributes and traits are going to equal certain real-world utility."
- M. Shadows, frontman
🔳 Why are independent artists and labels turning away from vinyl? (Marc Hogan)
“In an effort to maintain the tangibility of a vinyl record, Damon & Naomi chose to print an elaborate 48-page booklet, with visual and writing contributors including Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker. As [Damon] says, “We made that lavish insert that you would have back in the glory days of LP packaging—without the LP.””
🪀 The live music industry could return to pre-COVID earnings by 2025 (Tope Olufemi)
“PwC’s ‘Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2021-2025’ predicts the return of pre-pandemic revenue to the industry will be achieved by 2025 - growing at an annual rate of 17% for four years.”
😷 The return of events: Berlin (Maya-Roisin Slater)
“Cautionary IG stories started circulating within the Berlin club community of fully vaccinated people who still became infected with symptomatic cases of the virus. The posts urged vaccinated folks to continue getting regularly tested before going out.”
🦠 ‘COVID free’ outdoor music festival, Verknipt, infects 1,000 partiers in The Netherlands (Zoe Richards)
“Organizers of the two-day Verknipt festival have insisted that the 20,000 people who attended the event in Utrecht earlier this month were required to show proof using a QR code that they were vaccinated, had recently recovered from a coronavirus infection, or had a negative COVID-19 test.”
👑 Covid vaccine certificates to be compulsory for crowded venues in England (Heather Stewart)
“I can serve notice now that by the end of September when all over 18s will have had their chance to be double jabbed, we're planning to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather.”
- Boris Johnson.
I understand the reactionary sentiment from the Freedom-Day-self-isolating-prime-minister of the former EU state and it would certainly be great to see more people fully vaccinated… However, as my co-editor Maarten and I explored earlier this year, expecting full vaccination in order to be able to participate in society unfairly locks people out who have medical conditions that prevent them from getting vaccinated. It will also disproportionally affect ethnic minorities with high vaccine hesitancy due to a (very understandable) distrust of government. Disproportionate is the keyword there.
Instead of spitting out policy ideas like “Freedom Day” or “Everyone Vaccinated” that require no thought and fit on a sheet of toilet paper (waste of toilet paper, to be honest) and then scapegoating young people for the failures of bureaucrats, experts should be consulted and trusted to draft policies that are properly thought out and help to keep minorities (whether health-wise or ethnic) integrated with our cultural life. One of those policies could be to make events actually follow the guidelines they researched in test events, instead of a laissez-faire “it’s freedom day, so do whatever you want, but be responsible, ok?” type of approach. For insights into how one can reduce vaccine hesitancy in communities, I recommend reading Damon Centola’s book Change: How to Make Big Things Happen.
If any of you are active or aspiring writers: here’s a paid opportunity by We Are Europe who are looking for stories about “Artists’ Lives and Perspectives”. Check out the call for contributions.
Involved Group (Anjunabeats, Involved Management & various other companies) are looking for a Sustainability & Environmental Officer in London.
We have 5 roles open at COLORS - from web development to UI/UX design to release management to admin to people & culture. Varying levels of seniority. Peep the roles here.
I’ve put together a brand new mixtape with rave-y tunes rising from 130bpm to 160bpm. Full of cute & fun remixes from Charli XCX to Slipknot to Gigi D’Agostino to Black Eyed Peas, but with some serious (hard)techno twists. If you’re looking for something more mellow, I highly recommend Linn da Quebrada’s latest album a talented artist who creates beautiful music from a palette of Brazilian styles.