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#20: Great Content and the Power of Networks, Twitter ❤ Soundcloud, SFX exits bankruptcy, Ethereum / DAO, video game soundtracks, and more!

Hey everyone! Super excited to be traveling to Berklee Valencia this week to deliver a lecture on gro
#20: Great Content and the Power of Networks, Twitter ❤ Soundcloud, SFX exits bankruptcy, Ethereum / DAO, video game soundtracks, and more!
By MUSIC x TECH x FUTURE • Issue #20 • View online
Hey everyone!
Super excited to be traveling to Berklee Valencia this week to deliver a lecture on growth hacking the music business. I’ll condense the lecture and work it into one of the future mailings.
Make sure to catch up with the blockchain news about Ethereum and the DAO towards the bottom of this mailinglist. A pivotal point in the life of a cryptocurrency with big potential implications.
Love,
Bas

Great Content and the Power of Networks
Back in 2009, when I started working on my thesis about marketing music through non-linear communication, I came to a realization. I was going to be digging through a lot of data, information and doing my own qualitative and quantitative research: this is something other people will be interested in also. So, as I was making discoveries, I started tweeting my findings. This helped me build a following.
Back then, people didn’t have 100k+ followers on Twitter, so it was easy to reach out to any academic, artist, thought leader or executive on there. Even before graduating, I was hired by a Swiss music startup to do online communication strategy. Then I found a talented designer who was willing to design the beautiful site my thesis lives on, for free. I published my thesis and emailed all those influencers I had reached out to and interviewed earlier. Many of them shared my thesis to their social media pages. It got me an invitation to speak at Midem, one of Europe’s most important music business conferences, where Ian C Rogers (former CEO of Beats Music, later Senior Director of Apple Music) announced me as Mark Ronson was leaving the stage together with an important marketing exec from Coca-Cola. It was probably the first time I experienced impostor syndrome.
In the meantime, I had been hired to do product strategy for a company in Moscow that operated a music streaming service, a kind of ‘Spotify for books’, and a knowledge platform. They had noticed me because one of the people I interviewed had shared my thesis on his Facebook page. It was a massive opportunity for someone fresh out of university and my years there were intensely educational.
I hate the phrase ‘content marketing’, but a great content strategy synergizes so well with the rules of the networked age. It helps you build an audience, hold that audience’s attention and, if the content is good, it leverages the power of networks.
This is why the cost of putting music behind payments is sometimes higher than the potential return. If the music is easily accessible, and shareable, you can leverage other people’s audience. You can leverage the power of networks. This is why it’s so important to find ways of capturing value that goes beyond content-oriented transactions. If you’re looking for inspiration, spend a few hours on PledgeMusic, Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Patreon this week and see what others are doing. You can do it too.
The music tech business
  • 🐦 Twitter invests $70M in Soundcloud >>>
  • 🎰 SFX Entertainment exits bankruptcy unexpectedly >>>
  • 🚁 Napster’s improbable journey >>>
  • 🎷 DeepJazz uses deep learning to generate jazz >>>
  • 🎭 A live performance revolution is taking over electronic music >>>
  • 🎮 The cottage industry of indie game soundtracks >>>
  • 👾 Rapper Cadence Weapon about his new project: video game music >>>
  • 🏃 Soundcloud, Tidal, Amazon: streaming’s other runners >>>
  • 🍎 Why Apple Music matters so much to Apple >>>
  • 💸 YouTube, Spotify, major labels join Berklee’s initiative to streamline music royalties >>>
Blockchain news
I’m surprised at how the media hasn’t really picked up on the story about Ethereum and the DAO last weekend. The DAO, short for Decentralized Autononous Organisation, is a bit like a mutual fund and it got drained for millions of dollars worth of Ethereum this weekend (Ethereum is a cryptocurrency). Some must-reads:
  • 🏢 Is the future of business a company without workers, managers, or a CEO? (article about the DAO, pre-‘hack’) >>>
  • 💡 The uncanny mind that built Ethereum >>>
  • ⚠️ Black Friday for the DAO — a 150m+ bounty for hackers, became just that >>>
  • ❓ The big DAO heist FAQ (scroll past the top image if you’re on mobile) >>>
The community is debating an intervention that would undo the actions of the 'attacker’. Many argue it reeks of centralization of power, a bail-out, which is exactly why they prefer cryptocurrency over the traditional banking system.
  • 💻 Here’s how IBM is planning to use its own blockchain software >>>
  • 💲 Bank of Canada demos a blockchain-based digital dollar >>>
Thanks for reading. Remember - clicking reply gets you straight to my inbox. Don’t be a stranger!
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MUSIC x TECH x FUTURE

Regular insights about the future of music, media & tech. Written & composed by @basgras.

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