Nov 7, 2017 slush
2017, music promotion is broken and no one seems to care. Over the last decade, artists and labels have been pouring billions into building direct-to-fan channels on social media. Today, organic reach is virtually nonexistent. Instead, new music is being promoted with $1.7bn annually, of which 80% are wasted on marketing to existing fans. Sean Adams, founder of iconic music blog “Drowned In Sound and now Social Media Manager at BBC 6 Music, recently called this “the biggest form of waste in today’s music industry”. Shouldn’t that money be spent on growing audiences rather than paying to reach people who already follow those artists?
Given their dominance, social media are adopting more and more the role of gatekeepers to the music industry and beyond, deciding which information is shown in a fan’s news feed and which isn’t. While music is historically a very engaging topic, organic page reach on Facebook for instance (the % of your fans you reach per post without paying for it) is at an all time low of <10%, and in some cases <1% even. The only way to boost your reach is by spending more money – a costly reality for artists and a frustrating one for fans, who inevitably miss out on new records, tracks and videos. As marketing expenditure rises (Facebook and Google now capture 85 Cents of every new marketing Dollar in the US), so do the companies’ stock prices.
But what if things were different? What if, whenever an artist announces or releases new material, tracks, videos or albums, all of their fans receive real-time notifications on their phones: automated, personalized, direct as well as free for both artist and fan? Wouldn’t conversion rates to purchase, watch and stream be higher if fans were instantly messaged about new material by their favourite artists and bands regardless of platform? What’s guaranteed is that the music industry would save north of a billion dollars every year on marketing it doesn’t need to spend. Not when the technology is available. Free information is the natural extension of freedom of speech, which must be recognized and defended. Fans want to be informed and artists want to be heard, but old industry thinking and vested interests are to be overcome.
Equally challenging to the technical innovation part to this, is creating a scalable and sustainable business model that benefits the industry instead of hampering it. If a free and uninhibited flow of information is the goal then it will require a model that does not itself become the new gatekeeper further down the line.
At Record Bird, we innovate at the forefront of this movement. With its chatbot, website and mobile apps, our young team at Record Bird strives towards this new reality, however we’re just one potential solution to this multifaceted problem. Musician-turned-entrepreneur Ryan Leslie famously developed Superphone – a supposedly AI powered CRM tool for the smartphone, where the artist leverages smart fan-data analysis to engage with their fans on a day to day basis via simple text messages. The potential for the artist is massive: SuperPhone has enabled Leslie to independently earn over $2 million in one album cycle with the support of just 15,000 fans.
Congenial and ambitious is the work of tech enthusiast and longtime independent artist Imogen Heap. With “creative passports” that sit on the blockchain, Heap wants to create a transparent and non-fraudulent data layer which could enable real-time remuneration of all artists involved in the creation of a song or video. Furthermore, this pool of verified data points could serve as the basis for developers to build music experiences on top, while remunerating the artist accordingly.
The stakes are high and so are the challenges ahead. We won’t solve this on our own. Instead this will require many if not all of us to do our part in defending the belief in universally accessible and free flowing information. Get drawn into the hustle for a free information flow within music, so that – which at its core is a noble cause as much as it needs to allow for the creation of high-growth, sustainable businesses.
There has been growing interest in investing in emerging markets, especially in Southeast Asia. Our speakers, Kay-Mok Ku (Gobi), Soo Boon Koh (I-Globe), Kaspar Hadiyat (Koro Partners) were joined by Jorel Chan, who is the head of Investment Operations for Slush. Their discussion ranged from: personal insights, their experiences, as well as how Southeast Asia has […]
I am my Rival who Drives me Chika Terada, the co-founder and CEO of Sansan kicked off his speech proposing to disclose his own stories. Last year, he tried to come up with a profound lecture. But then he realized, he’s not in a position to lecture. This year, he told the audience that instead, […]
The day 1 at Dialogue Stage was a success. With having engaging speakers and the smooth-as-ever facilitation, some talks had really sought the core aspects of the entrepreneur mindset. Here, we will address three out of the seven dialogues. Cross Border Business Strategy: How to build your own brand in this society? Welcoming Techstars as […]
A dream isn’t something that is final, it’s something that should constantly be updated and thoroughly thought about with the aim to achieve it. Miku Hirano is the founder and CEO of Cinnamon, a company that is dedicated to “remove all unnecessary work from the world by using AI.” At a glance, Miku seems to […]
The winner of Slush Tokyo pitching contest has been announced – congrats, Clarity K.K.! Their matchmaking platform helps women who are returning to the realm of work after having kids. The work-life balance for women in Japan is a tricky issue, and Clarity K.K. tackles the challenges of traditional work arrangements by enabling women to identify the […]
Helen Tung, Emergent Tech advisor and MINERVA fellow at the EU, moderated the conversation between Takahiro Nakamura (Director and COO at ispace) and Kazuo Ishigame (Co-founder and COO at Infostellars) on how to make it in space. Welcome to the space age. These two will be your guides. Ispace aims to develop spacecraft technology to extend […]
Yat Siu is the founder and CEO of Outblaze , an award-winning digital services company specializing in things such as gaming, cloud, AI, and smartphone software. He sold Outblaze’s services to IBM ten years ago, pivoting the company to digital entertainment services. Siu is a bit of a tech legend, according to many: the online […]
Slush Tokyo 2019 Pitch Contest Semi-finalists Announced! It has been a great turn out at the Pitching Stage at this year’s Slush Tokyo. 40 contestants pitched in today’s contest. Not surprisingly, even greater ideas and concepts were presented in front of an eager and curious audience and judges. Contestants’ ideas and talks were diverse: from […]
Slush Tokyo 2019 has officially opened its doors and has welcomed its first speaker, Yuriko Koike, the Governor of Tokyo. The session shone the spotlight on the city’s initiatives towards raising entrepreneurship, women initiatives and supporting the startup ecosystem as a whole. Supporting a thousand startups. Since taking office as governor in 2016, Yuriko has […]
Buy your Slush Pass before the limited amount of HB priced tickets are gone!
We collect cookies to make your experience here smoother.