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Recognizing & appreciating continuity.

Happy Thursday! Hope you're still standing—the music-tech ground continues to shake beneath our feet.
Recognizing & appreciating continuity.
By Cherie Hu • Issue #4 • View online
Happy Thursday! Hope you’re still standing—the music-tech ground continues to shake beneath our feet. Pandora launched a new, cheaper premium service ($4.99/month), while Tidal reported a 169% year-over-year increase in net losses. Apple shocked(?) the world with those darned AirPods, while Muzik integrated Spotify into its smart wireless headphones. Music is becoming ever more intangible and, as always, we don’t quite know what it’s worth.
I’m writing this letter from Harvard’s campus, where I’m officially two weeks into being a student again. To be honest, I wasn’t always excited to come back. I felt a lot of momentum over my gap semester in terms of writing more expansive stories, traveling to more countries and events, building my network in the music/media/tech industries and cementing my position and vision in the professional world. I feared that reverting back to student life would make me lose sight of this vision.
Upon returning to campus, however, I realized that going from professional to student status would not be “reverting” at all, but rather continuing the journey I’ve carved out for myself with a fresh set of eyes and experiences. A new lifestyle doesn’t have to cut off what came before, but rather can both enrich and feed off this exciting history.
My schedule this semester allows me to continue writing and traveling, while picking up where I left off and exploring new avenues; highlights include a political journalism seminar taught by the New York Times’ former Executive Editor Jill Abramson, as well as a corporate financial accounting course at the MIT Sloan School of Management. I’ve also joined one of the co-ed choirs here, Collegium Musicum, and continue to work as a DJ for Harvard Radio Broadcasting (WHRB 95.3FM).
This past weekend also reminded me of my favorite part about Harvard: the coalescence of brilliant, otherwise detached minds. Within a span of 72 hours, I got to watch Wynton Marsalis, Junot Díaz, Sacha Pfeiffer and other Pulitzer Prize winners speak at the Pulitzer Centennial, in addition to an interview with Oliver Stone (director of the upcoming film Snowden) at Harvard’s Institute of Politics.
tl;dr I think I have a good idea of what this semester will be all about: embracing creativity, sharpening my analytical knives, and never forgetting to be starstruck.

Writing
The overarching question: Do we necessarily need the latest innovations to reimagine ourselves and our culture?
In A Streaming World, WeTransfer Uses Downloads As Its Secret Music Weapon (For Now)
Reimagining the Album Release in an Era of Atomic Consumption
Jazz Mogul Wynton Marsalis: Sing Your Own Song, But Don't Forget About That Swing
Why Music Companies Are Cashing In On Alcohol
Announcements
  1. I will be speaking on a panel about the Future of Radio at FastForward in Amsterdam next year!! Life always comes full circle—I wrote one of my first-ever newsletters while attending the inaugural FastForward last February, and it’s so exciting to be writing about it again from the other side of the stage. Hope to see lots of new and familiar faces there. If you’re interested in getting tickets for one of the best music conferences around >> fastforward.tickets
  2. I’ll be judging the Startup Competition at this year’s SF MusicTech Summit! I plan to start looking through submissions over the next week or so. The winning roster of startups from SF MusicTech has always impressed me every year, so it’s crazy to think that I’ll have an input in the final result this time!
Good reads
The overarching question: How can we escape conformity in business?
News is Not a Venture-Backed Business
How to grow a business by shrinking the audience
I’d Get to the Top of the Mountain if It Would Just Stop Fucking Growing
This is Your Life in Silicon Valley
Obligatory potato
Someone thought it would be a genius idea to pretend he didn’t know what a potato was during dinner at his girlfriend’s house. Let’s just say it didn’t make the best first impression on her parents.
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Cherie Hu

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