✖ Thinking small: a meditation on scale vs success for artists

And: Fintech x Creator Economy; NFTs that power ever-evolving compositions; How will Live Nation bounce back?; Non-Fungible Taylor Swift; geographic music bubbles

Is having hundreds of thousands of fans a fun goal or is it actually methodology masquerading as as a goal?

Breathe in deeply, hold, and release, as we explore:

👉 Why artists’ strategies default to scale;

👉 What the benefits of small vs large scale are;

👉 How to separate goals from method & create deliberate strategy.

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📈 Dan Runcie of Trapital breaks down Will & Jada Pinkett Smith’s “Build the audience, then sell the products” strategy.

💳 The intersection of fintech & the creator economy: this piece dives into YouTube & the rise of the creator economy and the rise of B2B infrastructure to support his consumer trend.

🤩 Ben Thompson is one of the smartest thinkers with regards to platform economies. His latest Stratechery newsletter is titled Non-Fungible Taylor Swift:

“When it comes to a world of abundance the power that matters is demand, and demand is driven by fans of Swift, not lawyers for Big Machine or Scooter Braun or anyone else.”

🗺 The Pudding explores culture & data through visual essays. Its latest piece is designed to get you out of your geographic music bubble. Super slick experience & one of the coolest interactive music data projects we’ve seen in a while.

🎶 We wrote about ‘programmable art’ startup Async a few weeks ago in the context of selling song stems as NFTs, so that a composition exists in different variants based on the ownership of these stems. British band HMLTD has created a work for Async, writing 300 to 400 parts for the song, leading to 6,400 different potential versions of the composition. After the NFT sale, the ‘permanently evolving dynamic artwork’ will go live and even the band’s not sure what will happen from there:

“It’s an experiment in cooperation or conflict between a set of people who don’t know each other and have access to limited information themselves, and whether or not those people choose to collaborate or even can collaborate to make the song into something cohesive, or whether it descends into a kind of anarchy.”


🏟 Tim Ingham asks: How will Live Nation bounce back from the concertless year? His answer is three-fold.

🌃 Kamila Rymajdo spoke to variety of promoters to find out how to start a club night or community space when the pandemic is over.

🕺 On another uplifting note, Mixmag collected more thoughts about the new ‘roaring 20s’ and speculates it’s not a matter of if, but rather: when.

🇺🇸 We’re not out of the woods yet though. Even in the US, where much of the population has already been vaccinated, venues still need financial aid. There’s $16 billion in federal aid available, but on the portal to apply for that got shut down on its first day due to a glitch.

🚘 What will happen to drive-in theatres after the pandemic?

✨ Personal update: I’ve joined the magnificent COLORS team. Like so many others, I’ve been a long-term admirer of their work and I’m thrilled to be joining them on their journey. The MUSIC x newsletters will continue as usual.


ascendent vierge create a hybrid & accessible version of goth-influenced pop and gabber in French. It’s fun & artistically sound and creates a context for rave music to be performed as a concert rather than just a DJ set. Their latest track Petit Soldat is a great example of that.