✖ Why YouTube is the streaming service to watch
And: Do technical flaws mean NFTs are not secure?; Porter Robinson's Secret Sky VR benchmark; insuring music's recovery; micro concerts as a gift; DJs 4 Climate Action
Two things from me today.
Firstly, the community aspect of this newsletter is important to me and I’m always considering how to make this feel like more of a network to the regular readers. Is it yet another music biz Discord? Is it a Discord community for music biz people to talk only about things not related to music? Is it a Telegram channel with comments or a Telegram group? Is it a monthly hangout session on Zoom? I’m undecided. So I’d like to hear from you bout MUSIC x as a network. This Friday, April 30, 5pm Berlin time (11am New York, 11pm in Shanghai), I’m scheduling a 1 hour group call to meet more of you & hear more about what’s interesting for you. RSVP here & mark your calendar.
Secondly, I feel that the moves YouTube is making are going under the radar. Besides having over a billion monthly active music listeners, it’s building out interaction & bespoke layers and integrating them with the streaming layer. This makes YouTube THE music streaming service to watch.
🦹 The NFTheft project cloned Beeple’s $69 million NFT and made it look like it was authentic, exploiting a flaw in the standard ERC721 smart contract used for many NFTs:
“If Personne were a bad actor, he could have sleepminted a much less famous NFT, kept quiet about his custom smart contract, and started selling directly to the most naive buyers he could find.”
🗃 Julie Knibbe interviewed Phil Barry, founder of Blokur, about the work they do to make music rights clearer and expose conflicts faster (some of which can go undetected for years, or even indefinitely).
🏃♀️ “Are virtual fitness instructors becoming music’s newest influencers?” asks Murray Stassen. Training sessions have long been accompanied by music, but the pandemic has made it easier for individual trainers to reach a greater scale than the audience they had previously.
🏞 To celebrate the release of his new album Porter Robinson hosted a virtual festival called Secret Sky. “By blending player interactions with procedural environmental effects, Secret Sky sets a new benchmark for such experiences in VR,” writes one reviewer. Detailed write-up here and watch all sets here.
😷 CORONA: An alarmist piece in the Guardian: could the secondary ticket market make Covid tracing harder, thus undermining the festival season’s safety? Interesting point to consider, but a safe track & trace system should actually verify and check in people on-site (preferably in a way that’s privacy-friendly, like the closecontact app).
📂 CORONA: IQ with a solid longread about the difficulties with insuring live music’s roadmaps to reopening.
🔬 CORONA: Cool concept by Helsinki Festival: gifting art through 'micro concerts'. The platform is open source, so free to re-implement elsewhere.
🗺 GREEN: What’s better than Earth Day? DJs 4 Climate Action went all out to celebrate Earth Night. Partnering with Greenpeace, they curated a musical night of global back 2 back music and panel discussions on culture and climate.
I’ve been enjoying Martin Brugger’s somewhat ambient Music For Video Stores debut, which aims to be a ‘blank soundtrack’.
The only audio sources in the process of making the album were his record player and a Dave Smith Prophet 08 synthesizer. In an antithesis to most sample-based music, Brugger takes the more ephemeral moments of recorded music and uses pitching tools as a magnifying glass to dive deeper into the sound and bare layers that normally remain unheard.