Music for the Snapchat generation: conceptualizing Music Stories

Whether you’ve ever used Snapchat or not, you have felt the influence of the social app’s design choices. How will it shape the future of music? Snapchat created something called ‘Stories’. Stories are composed of photos and short videos that stay available for 24 hours. They allow people to get a look into other people’s […]

Quick guide to the relaunched Anchor: reinventing the radio format

You may remember Anchor: it started as a sound-based social network where users could start discussions that others could chime in on. A kind of long-form Twitter, but with voice instead of text. I remember getting involved with some discussions started by Bruce Houghton, from Hypebot, but people’s interest soon waned and many of us […]

Is killing privacy the best we can do against secondary ticketing?

In its push to become a data-driven business, event organisers smell opportunity by connecting ticketing to real identities. It’s estimated that the market for secondary ticketing is worth $1bn in the UK alone. It’s a problem for fans and artists, since tickets are often bought in bulk by resellers and sold at a much higher […]

11 startups innovating the future of music

Techstars Music just announced their first batch. A quick look at the selected startups. It feels like we’re seeing a new wave of music startups. A lot of the excitement that marked the time around 2007–2010 is back in the air, and it’s great to see an acclaimed startup accelerator like Techstars dedicating a program […]

When augmented reality converges with AI and the Internet of Things

The confluence of augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things is rapidly giving rise to a new digital reality. Remember when people said mobile was going to take over? Well, we’re there. Some of the biggest brands in our world are totally mobile: Instagram, Snapchat, Uber. 84% (!) of Facebook’s ad revenue now comes […]

The “F*ck the long tail” manifesto

Don’t spend your time on something broken, when you can do something that works even better. Unless you’re a huge business with a lot of legacy to deal with, the shape of the long tail doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter whether music is getting increasingly “winner takes all”. This graph does NOT matter: Why it […]

7 findings from my first year freelancing

This week MUSIC x TECH x FUTURE turns one. Born as a newsletter on Revue, it’s now (finally) a sustainable company. That word, sustainable, comes with a caveat, because it currently still depends on me selling my time. There’s inherent risk in that, but I digress. Launching the newsletter, I knew it would take me […]

Mood augmentation and non static music

Why the next big innovation in music will change music itself — and how our moods are in the driver’s seat for that development. Over the last half year, I’ve had the pleasure to publish two guest contributions in MUSIC x TECH x FUTURE about our changing relationship with music. The first had Thiago R. Pinto pointing […]

The benefits of being an early adopter

Exploring the value of being a first mover, connecting with founders and building a profile in a nascent community. While reading through a Medium post a couple of months ago, I stumbled upon an email subscription form near the bottom of the article. I’m always thinking of how I can better convert readers to my […]

“Be so good they can’t ignore you.”

This year, focus on yourself. The 7 words that make up the title, a quote from Steve Martin, deserve to be an article of their own, on their own. It has come to be one of my favourite quotes for ‘making it’ in the music business. I attend a lot of music business events and […]

Monetizing virtual face time with fans

How the convergence of 2 trends opens up new business model opportunities for artists. When I landed in Russia to get involved with music streaming service Zvooq, my goal was to look beyond streaming. The streaming layer would be the layer that brings everything together: fans, artists, and data. We started envisioning a layer on […]

The value of fan remixes as part of artists’ content strategy

Putting fan remixes in the spotlight is a hundred thousand times more valuable than taking them down. The scarcest good on the internet is attention. Any savvy artist, manager, or label employee knows this and develops strategies to sustain the attention of fans over long periods of time. This comes in the form of content strategies, […]

Success in music: defining your personal strategy in four steps

Finding your way to success can be confusing as an artist. Here’s what you should be focusing on. At the Play & Produce conference in Ghent, Belgium, I joined a panel about digital revenue streams with Jef Martens (Basto / LazyJay), and Sebastien Lintz who does digital for Hardwell, artist management at Sorted, and is label manager […]

Breaking out of the circular blockchain music discussions

The strategy of a thousand small steps to blaze trails while negotiating the music industry’s next big leap. This year I’ve had the pleasure to take part in numerous discussions and think tanks about what blockchain can mean for the music business. The promise of blockchain, as will be explained, is transparency, fairness, and greater efficiency. […]

10 Lesser Known Tools for Making Music in your Browser

When the urge to get creative strikes, here’s how you can drop a beat fast. It’s not only the internet’s websites and platforms that change. Under the hood, our browsers are getting more powerful, allowing for rich experiences without having to manually download apps. Here are ten fun tools to drop beats right from your desktop […]

The Value of Ephemeral Content: Becoming Part of Your Fans’ Routines

What some perceive as ephemeral content’s greatest weakness is actually its most powerful quality. In an online landscape where attention is most scarce, ephemerality is key. 🔑   Last week I had the pleasure of being on a panel with some brilliant minds at Amsterdam Dance Event. The topic: marketing music to millennials. Millennials born in […]

Are donations becoming a viable part of artists’ business models?

With the rise of live streaming and new media models, donations deserve another consideration.   Napster, the early file sharing service, not only introduced many to piracy. The platform also exposed two competing world views. One believed that information should be free and the other believed in combating such ideas. They were both wrong. As […]

Two words to boost your digital strategy: and then?

Repeating the same question over and over to cut through the nonsense and set the right priorities. I regularly discuss digital strategy with bloggers, DIY musicians, managers or people running their own record label. My intention is to help people think more like startups, set clear goals, collect data and know how to act on […]

Monetizing remix culture: Beatport’s former CEO about his new mission

Matthew Adell about founding MetaPop and the surprising amount of money being left on the table by artists & labels. It’s 2016 and artists still have to think like lawyers when working on remixes. As someone whose music consumption primarily exists of remixes and sampled works, this is a very personal pet peeve of mine. The […]

Moving up the music curation food chain

Time for a quick lesson in free publicity. The increase of easy access to information and entertainment, combined with the democratisation of creation thereof, have led to the need for curation. As an artist, you want to get your music noticed by curators, so it gets spread around further. But how do you get them […]

Hidden in plain sight: a global underground dance music scene with millions of fans

Are gamers the biggest millennial subculture in music? An exploration of ‘online-only’ music. With the rise of the internet, music has lost more than industry revenues. Music has lost its cultural monopoly for identity building. Music used to be the only fast way in which people could understand that there are other people around the world, […]

Why should artists be able to make a living off of music?

Does this question make you feel uncomfortable? If so, allow me to break your music industry bubble for a second. People outside the music business are often filled with astonishment by the music industry’s prevalent sense of entitlement. “I made something, so I deserve money.” Nonsense. What kind of business is that? To me, the […]

The Urgent Need for a Sustainable Music Industry – and the Innovations that Make it Possible

Every month this year has been the hottest in recorded history. Our weather is getting increasingly unpredictable, leading to more storms and floods in some areas and extreme droughts and forest fires in others. The importance of selling music, or solving problems in the music business, pales in comparison with these issues. However, these are […]

Interview: Wil Benton (Chew.tv) about building a livestreaming platform for DJs

Can Chew be to music what Twitch is to gaming? Find out what it takes to build the world’s largest video platform for DJs. Wil Benton is one of the founders of Chew, a service that lets performers create a livestream of their DJ or studio sessions. They were launched in January 2015 and signed […]

The hyped rise of Yellow Claw: a case-study

What started out as an Amsterdam club night in 2010, quickly became a global dance music phenomenon. A look at the strategy behind Yellow Claw’s rise to fame. Act 1: The Netherlands Yellow Claw started out as a weekly Thursday night party in a hip Amsterdam club called Jimmy Woo. They played a sound which is […]