What the End of the App Era Means for the Music Business

The average smartphone user downloads less than 1 app per month, according to comScore. The era of apps is ending, and we’re moving in an era of artificial intelligence interacting with us through messaging apps, chatbots, voice-controlled interfaces, and smart devices. What happens to music in this context? How do you make sure your music […]

How to get me to talk about your startup

Tips for pitching newsletter curators.  1.5 year ago, I started my newsletter to encourage more innovation in music. It has allowed me to shine a spotlight on people, startups, and music companies that are doing fascinating things. I’m really flattered that so many people have signed on and always have something positive to say. However, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

“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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]