✖️ EU streaming giants teaming up 💪 How AI startups can target music 🤖 Soundcloud's last chance... 💸
Just came back from Ableton Loop here in Berlin. The focus is completely on creators and they call themselves a summit for music makers. This means their programming & event is highly refreshing for the more seasoned conference goer.
I’m still blown away by the visual component of Nosaj Thing’s set. It combined a lot of the visual styles from the music videos, but the most interesting part was the 3D mapping of him & his VJ during the live set. Perfect time for a reminder of the value of audiovisual alliances between musicians & visual artists.
I also want to congratulate the organisers of We Make Waves with their first edition. They specifically target women, trans, and non-binary people who work in music. I was there just one night, but it was refreshing to be one of the few men there, and a clear sign that other conferences and festivals can do a much better job at inclusivity & balance.
Time for me to prepare for my Slush Music talk, which is upcoming in two weeks, and I’ll be pouring a lot of my creativity into it. Talking about innovation in music: from Bach to the Bronx.
Three game mechanics for the music business
An article I wrote early in the life of this newsletter: taking a look at an industry that also struggled with piracy at the same time as music, and found inspiring paths forward.
www.musicxtechxfuture.com • Share
SoundCloud has one last chance to monetize — here’s what it should do
Soundcloud is a special place. It has allowed for countless subgenres to flourish, from moombahton, trap, to Soundcloud rap and many other smaller styles that are too obscure to reference here (but check out the music Staycore puts out, if you’re interested). This article proposes a simple solution to the streaming platform’s woes: people are primed to buy, so build a market place. (oh man, how I would love to spend $1-2 instead of going through those damn download gates)
Spotify, Deezer and SoundCloud launch European lobbying coalition
Interesting initiative, which seems to be targeting tech giants such as Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook: “Our collective experience is that where online platforms have a strong incentive to turn into gatekeepers because of their dual role, instead of maximising consumer welfare, they can and do abuse their privileged position and adopt B2B practices with adverse consequences for innovation and competition. These practices range from restricting access to data or interaction with consumers, biased ranking and search results to lack of clarity, imbalanced terms and conditions and preference of their own vertically-integrated services.”
The ever-changing digital landscape
Are brand cosigns more impactful than artist cosigns?
Good analysis of what “selling out” means in 2017 (and what it doesn’t mean). Brands have always played a role in subcultures, but through social media like Instagram and Snapchat, it has been amplified a lot: “When grime fans think of Skepta, Nike Air Max instantly comes to mind. This creates a symbiotic relationship between the consumer, the artist and the brand, where each supports the other in promoting a tribe, lifestyle and identity.”
Musical.ly to be sold to Chinese firm ByteDance for more than $800m
Meanwhile one of the most important visual music mediums has been acquired for a sum between $800m and $1bn.
www.musicbusinessworldwide.com • Share
Lil Wayne changed the internet forever
I remember reading about this in Stephen Witt’s How Music Got Free. Underrated moment in modern music history. “Just like hip-hop had done in its earliest years, just as the internet itself seemed to do, Lil Wayne in 2007 promised creativity unbounded by any rules.”
Wavepaths app guides users through therapeutic trips
Brian Eno teamed up with neuroscientist Mendel Kaelen to create an app for therapeutic music – and it ended up expanding both their minds. Can’t wait to check this out. I think projects like this show very well what music can be, and I hope artists who cleverly monetize features over content will develop more great new experiences like it.
4 ways AI startups can target the music industry
Startups have a lot of room to disrupt the music industry with AI and voice recognition. And the possibilities expand way beyond these 4 once you start imagining what music can be through new mediums & interactive technology.
For Amazon, the future of Alexa is about the end of the smartphone era
With touch-screen devices like the Echo Show and Echo Spot, Amazon is trying to upend a decade of smartphones, notifications, and apps. (My take on what it means for the music business)
Why Burial's Untrue is the most important electronic album of the century so far
Delving into the politics, emotion, and musical history behind the disquieting masterwork a decade after its release.
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📰 Last week: Spotify’s Chris Brown problem 😠 Listening diversity is growing 📈 Critical look at blockchain & music ⛓️
Regular insights about the future of music, media & tech. Written & composed by @basgras.
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