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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Why nobody cares about your free download

You spent years honing your skills. Countless hours putting together your latest song or album. You value your work immensely, so you decide to give this valuable thing away to your fans. Maybe it will even get you some new fans. But they don’t care. In the age of constant connectivity, free downloads have lost […]

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 […]

Music Business Growth Hacking 101: How to Scale Your Fanbase & Revenue Sustainably

How can “the intersection of creative marketing, automation, and smart use of data” help you grow? Read on… This article originally appeared as a guest post for the Midem blog. Instead of hiring marketing managers, startups are recruiting growth hackers to work on more sustainable deliverables than just ‘dumb traffic’. How can growth hacking be used […]