The Moby Problem: open letter to Matt Ogle’s successor at Spotify

Almost every week, Spotify adds a Moby track to my Discover Weekly or Release Radar playlists – probably the playlists I listen to the most. The problem is: I don’t like Moby, and he’s not going away. I’ve figured out exactly why Spotify keeps recommending me Moby. I’ve also figured out what types of user […]

Four innovations in classical music

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of representing IDAGIO on stage at a conference for the first time since joining as Product Director one month ago. It was my first time attending a conference dedicated to classical, and since I haven’t written much about that part of the music business yet, I want to highlight […]

Why playlists should be part of your social media strategy

The emphasis of playlist strategy is usually placed on how artists can get their music on popular curated playlists. Let’s discuss the long-term value of artists stepping into the curator role themselves. In the context of this article, when referring to playlist strategy, I mean playlists that you create. For most of the readers of this […]

Like MC and DJ: an audiovisual alliance for the digital age

The digital age is demanding for artists. Simply releasing audio is often not enough. You have to take care of artwork, video material for Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook, and then you still have to figure out how to get people to actually pay you. The time has come for a new band member – even […]

The future of music, inspired by a cheap Vietnamese restaurant in Berlin

I spent the last week living from an Airbnb while getting started with my new job at IDAGIO in Berlin. Down the street from my Airbnb was a cheap Vietnamese place, where I ate a couple of times. They always had Vietnamese pop music on, but one day they had a CD by a Vietnamese […]

Computers won’t have to be creative

Every discussion about creative AI sooner or later invites the same objection: “computers will never be able to be creative.” It’s interesting to think about. One has to define creativity. One has to understand the implications of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Then you have to carefully construct an opinion, and prediction, on whether we’ll ever […]

Online music is about to experience another MySpace moment

An emerging void signals new opportunity for innovation in digital music. The benefit of writing thoughts down is that you get to revisit them. Six years ago, I penned a piece for Hypebot called The Next MySpace. At that time, people in the music business were desperate to for another MySpace to emerge: the site had […]

Why I’m joining IDAGIO  —  a classical music startup — and moving to Berlin

Today I’m excited to announce that I’m joining IDAGIO, a streaming service for classical music lovers, as Director of Product. I’m already in the process of relocating to Berlin, where I’ll be joining the team later this month. In this post, I want to explain why I so strongly believe in this niche focused music […]

Creatives as victims: are artists really screwed?

With the platformization of the web, creatives are set up to compete for attention while the platforms that host their content benefit from monetization at scale. It’s an important issue, but to say creatives have been screwed over by default helps nobody, mostly because it’s incorrect. When reading Jon Westenberg‘s recent comments about creatives’ current challenges, I found […]

Why I’ve stopped posting on Medium

A recent change broke my trust and made me act on my pre-existing skepticism. That change is not the membership plan. Okay, I haven’t completely stopped publishing on Medium, but I have stopped making Medium the go-to destination for my audience. Instead, I’ve placed focus on my own WordPress-based site again, and cross-post articles here […]

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 […]