Treat Twitter like a visual medium & sync your Instagram posts to it

Here’s a little hack I use to share my Instagram photos to Twitter automatically. Many years ago, Instagram decided to disable its Twitter cards integration, meaning photos posted to Instagram and then shared on Twitter, no longer showed up as an image but instead just as a descriptive text + link. It’s a common strategy […]

The Instagram Stories rulebook (and 20 creative ideas for your short form videos)

Instagram Stories are the most important development in social media right now. I’ve previously explained why, but the key point is that the short format expiring content makes it fun to create, share, and engage with people who share their moments. My two articles about Instagram Stories had loads of people getting in touch, following […]

Four of the biggest opportunities for the future of music consumption

A reflection on key trends in music, tech, and user interfaces. Soundcloud is saved, for now. On top of whatever strategic decisions they make to be able to attract follow-up investments, they face the difficult task of preserving their user community’s trust and winning back part of the trust they already lost. Tumultuous times are […]

When to leverage platforms, and when to own your audience

Platforms born out of the web 2.0 wave of internet startups, like Facebook, Medium, and Spotify, have done a great job bringing huge audiences together. But building your presence on their platforms can come at the cost of them owning your link to your audience. I was having a small discussion on Twitter with Arnon […]

I’m a millennial and I share more music through Instagram Stories than any other medium

The top row on Instagram excites me. I check Instagram more often & only bother scrolling down the feed once a day, if I don’t forget. I’ve previously explained how Instagram’s Snapchat-cloned Stories functionality represents a great marketing opportunity for artists. Now I want to signify its broader importance to music, and social media in […]

6 lessons from 6 weeks without net neutrality

My music consumption has been clearly impacted by the lack of net neutrality on my new mobile plan. Here are my key takeaways as a heavy user of music services. This Spring, I moved from The Netherlands to Berlin, which means setting up new contracts for everything. While I’m still waiting for my flat to […]

My Midem wrap-up: Chatbots + marketing Run The Jewels panels

What a week. I spent it at Midem – one of the most well-known music business conferences organised every year in Cannes. Before I’m off to Sonár+D this week, I thought I’d type up a little update. About 10 months ago, Midem‘s conference manager got in touch with me to see if we could put a panel […]

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 […]

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’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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

5 Bots You’ll Love

Since launching its chatbot API last April, Facebook’s Messenger platform has already spawned 11,000 bots. Bots are popular, because they allow brands to offer more personalized service to existing and potential customers. Instead of getting people to install an app or visit your website, they can do so from the comfort of their preferred platform, whether […]

5 Easy Ways to Stay on Top of Trends (for Busy People)

There’s a certain advantage to being ahead of the curve. In an age of constant disruption, the benefits of learning about a new tool or technology before your competitors can be immeasurable. So how do you stay aware of new trends and developments in your field or industry? Below are 5 convenient ways. They just take a […]