✖️ RIP 8tracks, state of sampling, 2019's failed predictions, music biz trends for the 2020s 🔮
Hi there eveybody,
It’s the final edition of the year, so let’s reflect and look forward.
I’m so excited to have brought back MUSIC x TECH x FUTURE this year and be welcomed back to your inboxes. It has already been 10 editions! And MxTxF has a little sister now: MUSIC x GREEN (announced last week) for which I have more plans next year.
My goal for January is to launch a few more projects and expand the digital garden I tend to. If you’d like to be involved more closely, join me on Slack in The Music Tech Network. Make sure to say hi in the introductions channel when you join, and I’ll add you to the relevant channels.
To everything there is a season ⚰️
8tracks is shutting down. David Porter, one of the founders, lays out the difficult path of a music tech startup. I’m impressed with how far they’ve come, especially given the obstacles. The rise of free tiers on popular streaming services, API restrictions on SoundCloud, Spotify, and Facebook… it’s a time that few music startups managed to survive.
Much respect to the team and all they’ve accomplished. Looking forward to seeing future endeavors.
Tracklib presents State of Sampling 2019 🎛️
Lots of interesting findings here by the Tracklib team. One example:
“Averaging the release years of all the songs sampled, we get the year of 1998. This is actually 4 years older than last year’s average of 2002. In fact, every genre on Billboard sampled older songs this year compared to last.
One eye-catching fact is that pop sampled the oldest songs on average, with the average landing all the way back in 1993.”
In 2019, a new wave of music stars arrived, and they’re obsessed with climate change 🌬️
2019 saw artists from Billie Eilish to Lana Del Rey to Vampire Weekend to Megan Thee Stallion grappling with the warming planet.
If you find yourself dealing with climate anxiety, read green search engine Ecosia’s tips on how to deal with it.
Five music-tech forecasts that misfired in 2019 🙊
Cherie Hu discusses some of the predictions that didn’t quite pan out this year, diving into smart speakers, fan clubs, VR for music, acquisitions, and AI.
How Tumblr left its imprint on the music industry over the 2010s 💻
Billboard talks to Tumblr’s Head of Global Partnerships, Tatiana Simonian, about Tumblr’s place in music and how artists find and share inspiration.
“The rise of K-pop began on the site years ago before hitting critical mass and now a trend that the team is noticing is a music genre called C-pop (Chinese pop).”
Music Ally's 42 trends of 2019 report (PDF) 👓
Music Ally looks back at the year in this thorough report with topics ranging from diversity and sustainability to blockchain and distribution.
Music industry analysts on the trends to watch in 2020 🔮
With thoughts from Mark Mulligan, Michael Donaldson, Dan Runcie, and Cherie Hu, this covers topics like fandom as currency, new breeds of DIY, and new sustainable sources of funding for artists.
Personally, there is one thing I’m missing in the end of year lists and in the music business discourse in general. Whenever China is discussed, it is either in the context of new revenues opening up or its tech firms like Tencent or ByteDance making moves around the world. What I don’t hear is anything regarding Hong Kong or the dire situation for the Uyghur population in China’s Xinjiang province. Gaming, sports, and film have already had trouble navigating the difficulties of doing business in a country with poor human rights records. My prediction for next year: as China continues to project its power and influence, expect this to intensify for aforementioned three sectors, plus music.
Songs of freedom: eight new protest songs from Hong Kong bands ☂️
During times of protest, music can serve as a uniting and rallying force, and sometimes becomes a focal point. From rap to metal to punk, local groups are expressing their feelings about the unrest.
New on MUSIC x GREEN
Last week I announced MUSIC x GREEN, a directory for a greener music business. Immediately, I got some recommendations of green projects. Thank you for sending them in:
MØ partners with Postevand for clean water protection
Roskilde Festival: 8 days. 130,000 visitors. With the purpose to make a difference and have a positive influence on our surroundings
NorthSide Festival: 3 days of music, sustainability and fun
Activist Artists Management: the management company for positive impact
Reverb: Uniting around the music we love, tackling the issues we face
Check them out by heading over to MUSIC x GREEN and clicking on the “NEW ✨” filter.
Discover organisations and initatives making the music industry a greener and more climate-friendly business.
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Regular insights about the future of music, media & tech. Written & composed by @basgras.
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