The music industry careens fast down the highway, stacked high with cargo and shiny objects. Think of the old CD business as the flat bed, the current digital industry as its loosely tethered, bulky freight, and artist-driven initiatives as sparkly crates hitched on top. Failed startups litter the rearview mirror. Yet all are tied together in a zigzag of relationships and common building blocks.Read More
Similar to the world-wide-web in 1994, blockchain technology is rapidly demonstrating the potential to disrupt our day-to-day lives. Most widely known as the technology that powers cryptocurrency Bitcoin, the uses of blockchain tech are still unfolding, and while it is a nascent technology, it’s not a fad and it’s not going away. Adoptions in the future may not look exactly as surmised, but the technology is too important to simply fade away...Read More
Guest post by Benji Rogers Founder, dotBlockChain Media & Pledgemusic
“Alexa, please play the Moana soundtrack.”
That’s how my five-year-old daughter makes music play in our house (and yes, she says please).
Alexa then replies, “Now playing the soundtrack to the motion picture Moana by various artists on Spotify.”
Some version of this daily ritual is becoming more prevalent in households all over the world as voice control has become easier to use, and as Amazon, Google, and now Apple, march into the home.
What feeds the machine?
Twenty four years ago the music industry was blessed, or cursed depending on your point of view, with a digital music format called the MP3 (the WAV file format was introduced two years earlier). From that moment on music became files, and files go everywhere.Read More
I travel a lot, for both business and pleasure. I’m always struck by how music, and the sheer presence of it, impacts the culture and ethos of a city. Cities like Nashville and London have a rich musical history dating back a century or more. Austin bills itself as the “Live Music Capital of the World.” Memphis is known as the home of the blues, and the “Detroit sound” was widely celebrated for many years. In some cases, legacy industries and a bit of luck have made certain cities into music and cultural capitals of the world -- but in many cases, it’s built into the brand of the city by a conscious decision.Read More
We all intuitively know that music can have powerful effects on our emotions and even behavior. Whether it’s drowning out distractions at work, powering through a workout at the gym, or relaxing after a long day, music is an ally in many aspects of our life that many can’t do without. Current technology has made access to a “celestial jukebox” of music almost universal but many are missing out on what maybe music’s most powerful effects. A growing body of research shows music has the potential to address broader health and wellness concerns, from specific neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer's to more widespread “quality of life” areas such as pain, sleep and even focus and attention.Read More
Guest post by Kirk Cornelius, Managing Director, Thought5
In September of last year, the city of Reykjavik agreed that they would shut down their street lights, as well as encourage it’s residents to turn off their own lights, so that they would have the opportunity to view the northern lights without the light pollution that typically prohibits the city dwellers to experience them in all of their glory. It is an amazing example of how a collective group of people had come to the conclusion, and then formerly decided as a city, that sharing a moment of beauty was more important than keeping the lights on to carry on with normal life. It became the event of the evening, a spectacle, and something that most of its residents were very much looking forward to. In Icelandic culture, nature plays a huge role as a key contributor to their overall quality of life. They are extremely connected to nature and the natural beauty of the landscape, and it often serves as the inspiration for much of the music and art that comes out of this small country. Rather than simply acclimating to this natural phenomenon and taking it for granted as something that plays out in the background, they continue to celebrate these moments and push them to the forefront as the event of the evening. These are the moments that I am searching to find, as well as create, as we continue to move forward at such a frenetic pace in which we often don’t stop long enough to ‘look up’ in order to experience something so beautiful and life-changing.Read More
Guest post by Nick Susi, creative strategist in music & media
(This is a continuation from last week’s Part I)
User behavior in music consumption is making a clear shift towards discovery-obsession, as well as shorter attention spans. Streaming may have flattened the barrier of entry, but as a result, the volume of songs and artists entering the streaming ecosystem has risen significantly. This has led to an age of noise. So what does this mean for creators, managers and the rest of their team?
Guest post by Nick Susi, creative strategist in music & media
Entering 2017, a popular topic of conversation has been focused on streaming’s impact on the music industry. It wasn’t long ago that the industry and media coverage of streaming had a widely negative connotation wrapped around it. 2014 ended in Taylor Swift’s stand against Spotify’s royalty payments. 2015 ended in David Lowery’s $150 million class action lawsuit against Spotify. Here we are only a year or so later and the conversation surrounding streaming has shifted to a largely positive outlook. Streaming has now driven a favorable increase in global recorded revenues, withSpotify and Apple combined driving $7 billion with over 60 million subscribers.Read More
Classes are back in session here at Berklee, and Rethink Music is celebrating our seventh year of work on the future of music. Over the years we’ve looked at music marketing and music consumption, and hosted various events meant to spur discussion and innovation in the music industry. The Fair Music report in 2015 brought to life the Open Music initiative earlier this year, which is now underway with over 140 stakeholders signed on to help develop new tools to manage the rights clearance process for music licensing. The goal of the Rethink Music project has always been to serve as the thinktank arm of Berklee’s music-related research endeavors.Read More