The Future of Sharing and Discovery

The internet and streaming services have irreversibly changed the music industry. Artists are able to access more consumer with fewer barriers than ever before. Longstanding, traditional marketing and artist discovery methods are a thing of the past. Technology is disrupting the artist discovery process and turning sharing into a science. It is essential for anyone in the music business to understand the new landscape of music sharing and artist discovery. I moderated The Future of Sharing and Discovery Panel at A3C in Atlanta, Georgia. Check out the podcast and let me know what you think.

Panelists

1) Nikhil Shah – Nikhil Shah is Cofounder of Mixcloud, a streaming radio service that connects listeners to the world’s leading DJs, radio presenters and Podcasters. The service boasts over 1.3 million creators globally across a vast spectrum of genres and sounds.

2) Nicole Johnson – This Jersey girl’s love of music started at West Virginia University’s college radio station U92. Nicole was quickly put on-air and created a late night show, The Urban Dinner, playing hip hop and R&B hits that continues at the university today. After graduating from West Virginia University, Nicole started her career answering phones at WKTU103.5 inNYC(an iHeartStation), taking on multiple responsibilities at the station. She was quickly promoted to mid-day producer setting up interviews with top talent and developing show ideas. Nicole was then offered a staff position and transitioned to the programming department.

3) Daniel Sander – Dan manages is the Chief Commercial Officer at Feature.fm and has been with the company since launch, working closely with demand side partners. He has personally worked with over 100 independent artists and labels specializing in digital music marketing, PR and artist development. Dan works closely with Feature.fm’s technology to build marketing, advertising and analytics products for the music industry. Prior to Feature.fm, Dan managed Large Corporate Multi-National Clients at JP Morgan.

4) Nick Merich – Nick Merich is the Co-Founder of Songlink, a platform-agnostic music sharing app. With Songlink, you can share music better and more efficiently without worrying about which music streaming platform your friends, family or fans use. Songlink’s services find each song and album on every streaming platform, so you can share one link and allow everyone to listen.

Some of the questions we discussed.

  1. How was the internet changed the music industry?
  2. Nikhil- The slogan for Mixcloud is “Rethink Radio”, what does that mean and what are you trying to accomplish?
  3. Nicole- Can you tell me of your early beginnings in radio and has radio changed at all since 2003?
  4. Nick- Songlink-Tell me how songlink came to be?  
  5. Daniel- Feature.fm believes, Every artist should have fair access to airplay in front of the right audience. How does Feature.fm facilitate that?
  6. What role does data/algorithms play in what you do? What should artists pay attention to in the world of data?
  7. Are bots something we should be exploring, if so, how should we think about using them?
  8. Nick- Songlink- how are people sharing music? Where is it shared the most (Social, SMS, whatsapp?)
  9. How are people discovering music on platforms and how are they sharing?
  10. How can artists break through the noise?
  11. How can they reach the people who are in the position of curating and breaking artists on these platforms?
  12. Nick- Songlink- You have a weekly feature what you showcase the Top links, can you tell me about it? Are there any commonalities between Top links? What are they doing right?
  13. Are hip-hop artists and listeners any different in consumption compared to other genres?
  14. Daniel- presave feature, tell me about it. Does it make any difference in gaining momentum or notice from the streaming platforms?
  15. Nikhil/Nicole- We know a lot of platforms employ algorithms or AI but what role do human beings play in the curation process?
  16. Nicole- I’ve heard one of Pandora’s asset is the Music Genome project. What is it?
  17. Is purchasing music digitally going to be obsolete in the near future?
  18. Daniel- can you tell me about how the sponsored songs in streaming services work? Also about the native placements on music websites.
  19. Nikhil- Since you have a huge community of DJ’s and radio shows. Is there a way artists can approach these tastemakers to get their music played?
  20. Nick- songlink- Audio graphic, you actually help artists make one, why is it important?
  21. What role is Hip-Hop and R&B music playing in the music industry and the world at large?
  22. What resources should people follow to be in the loop of what’s happening…where do we get the info?