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Things to Watch: Music Edition (October 2011)

The digital age disrupted the music world, ushering in a new era for fans, artists, retailers and other key stakeholders. This year, we got a clearer glimpse of what the second decade of digital music will look like—and it’s quite different from the first in many ways. In our Things to Watch: Music Edition, we chart what’s changing from both a macro and micro perspective.

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Things to Watch: Music Edition (October 2011)

  1. THINGSTO WaTcH October 2011 Music Edition
  2. WHaT WE’ll cOvEr• Background and Methodology• Our Things to Watch in Music• appendix: learn More about Our Experts and Influencers a note to readers: To make the report easy to navigate, we’ve added hyperlinks to the What We’ll cover and Our Things to Watch in Music 2 pages, so you can jump immediately to the items that most interest you (or, alternatively, you can read the material straight through).
  3. BackGrOuNd aNdMETHOdOlOGyThe digital age disrupted the music world,ushering in a new era for fans, artists, retailers and EXpErTS aNdother key stakeholders. This year we got a clearer INfluENcErS*glimpse of what the second decade of digital HEIdImusic will look like—quite different from the first BrOWNING Svp of strategicin many ways. We decided to chart what’s changing solutions,in our Things to Watch format, surveying both pandoramacro and micro trends. SaM HOWard-SpINk clinical assistantThe list that follows is the result of desk research professor of music business,conducted by JWTIntelligence throughout the New york university Steinhardt’s departmentyear, inputs from JWT’s global planning network of Music andand interviews with experts and influencers in the performing artsmusic industry. STEvEN HuyNH + MIkE O’BrIEN co-founders * See appendix to learn more about these experts and influencers. 3
  4. BackGrOuNd aNd METHOdOlOGyIn the next decade of digital music, we’ll be accessing,discovering and sharing music in new ways. It’s all aboutthe ability to listen to your own archives and just aboutanything else wherever you are—we’re becoming ourown music hub, limited by neither physical nor digitalstorage space nor tethered to any particular hardware.It’s a major change, one that’s evolving just as listeninggets suddenly more social, from’s rooms ofbobbing avatars to facebook’s real-time peeks into whatfriends are listening to. Everyone’s an influencer, just intime to help narrow our options amid infinite elsewhere, audiences have shifted from passiveto engaged, and they increasingly expect options forpersonalization and even collaboration. Innovativeartists are responding, with new ideas about how tocreate and package their music and manage and marketthemselves. Investors, meanwhile, are excited about newideas in this space, injecting more than $400 millioninto music startups in the first eight months of 2011,according to digital Music News. Image credits:; 4
  5. Our THINGS TO WaTcH IN MuSIc1. access Over Ownership 14. Everyone’s a dJ2. capturing Over collecting 15. Everyone’s a vJ3. The celestial Jukebox 16. youTube=MTv4. Taking It to the cloud 17. The album lives On5. The Battle Over personalized radio 18. app albums6. rIp, Mp3 player 19. Motivational Objects7. coming Soon to a device Near you 20. Music + [ ]8. Sharing’s Tipping point 21. live-Streaming concerts9. flowing, Tracking and pounding 22. Opening up the recording Studio10. The facebook Effect 23. artists are doing It for Themselves11. Bringing Myspace Back 24. fans in the front Seat12. Music’s New Influencers 25. reconnecting With roots13. aggregator Services 26. political parodies 5
  6. “apple spent a lot of energy over the last 1.accESS OvEr 10 years marketing against these OWNErSHIp kinds of concepts [like Sony’s Music unlimited], large campaigns that music is an ownership kind of thing. But a lot of leading thinkers in the music industry these days believe that for the current generation, the younger generation, music is all about access.” Tim Schaaff, president, Sony Network daniel Ek, Entertainment,cEO of Spotify, Business Insider, fortune, aug. 12, 2011 July 21, 2011 “Some predict “In the history that the whole notion of actually owning music of music, it’s been about soon will become as how you need to buy this quaintly archaic asrecord or song. What Spotify the victrola.” The is saying is ownership is plain dealer, aug. 15, 2011 great, but access is the future.” Image credit: The Owl Mag and Mike rosati photography
  7. 1. accESS OvEr OWNErSHIpSome fans stopped buying music as soon as theyhad (less than legal) digital alternatives. But moststill sought to build collections, even as serviceslike rhapsody, pandora and Internet radio stationsoffered new, cheaper ways to hear music. Now,we’ll see less emphasis on the personal archive.With an Internet connection, today’s listenerscan hear it all: just about any track at any time,just about anywhere. (See the next few items formore details.)Some signs of the times: Target now carries giftcards for subscriptions to streaming servicesMOG and rdio. and Starbucks in the u.S.recently expanded its pick of the Week beyondfree music from iTunes—less enticing in anaccess-over-ownership world—to include apps,Tv shows and extended e-book excerpts. Image credit: 7
  8. 2.capTurING OvEr cOllEcTING users of music-recognition app Tech entrepreneur and consultant Bruce Warila has Shazam can play tracks identified suggested that websites will enable this too, with an with the tool in Spotify, as can “add music” button accompanying songs and videos European users of SoundHound. an and even relevant search results. consumers will app for Spotify rival MOG lets users grab what they like at the moment hear a record simply by holding up and, inevitably, share it their phone to any image of the with their networks, so “collections will become album art. and participants can instantly that like much else, a short-term phenomenon on add songs they hear to their Spotify, and rdio music choices will the web, captured to share with libraries (or click to find them in iTunes or be shaped (even friends across multiple services and will be indicative of a moment in time, on amazon). more) by the as opposed to a library built up based social influence on a lifetime of listening and curating This, says Billboard writer kyle Bylin, “marks a and a focus on critical turn in the way fans collect and discover music for yourself. unlimited access to the now. almost all the music available puts music.” Where once music was bought in stores to the focus on discovering what add to personal collections, in the “capture culture” to listen to now, as opposed of the future, music will be “captured from our charles Smith, to what to keep.” environment through mobile apps and instantly founder and cOO of exfm, Billboard, stored in the cloud.” Sept. 12, 2011 Image credit: 8
  9. 3.THE cElESTIal JukEBOX Infinite music: It’s a fan’s fantasy come true. With the advent of Spotify and a slew of similar services— MOG, deezer, we7 and rdio among them—we’re close enough: millions of streamable tracks for which rights have been negotiated in a given country. (Or not exactly negotiated, in the case of Grooveshark.) These services are still nascent: deezer, which has “for years, around 20 million users in france, is now expanding, prognosticators have to the u.k. Spotify arrived in the u.S. in July after research firm Ovum is looked forward to a time taking parts of Europe by storm over the last three predicting 60% revenue growth when a ‘celestial jukebox’ years and now claims 2 million paying subscribers from digital music subscription would let you hear any in eight countries. services by 2015, to $20 billion piece of music, anytime, annually (this includes revenue anywhere. Welcome The business models vary. In some places the to that future.” service is bundled in with phone and Internet from cloud-based services; subscriptions. and Spotify, MOG and rdio have see next item). The plain dealer, adopted freemium models in the u.S., at least aug. 15, 2011 for now. Image credit: 9
  10. 4.TakING IT TO THE clOud Music is moving to that big locker in the sky. In amazon has a limited-time offer of $20 for 20GB; 2011, several major players launched a cloud storage some services are free up to a point (Music Beta, for service for music—that is, the user’s music is stored example, allows users to store up to 20,000 songs on a remote server and can be played via any without fees). connected device. amazon (cloud player), apple (icloud and, due this fall, iTunes Match), Google (Music Beta) and rIM (BBM Music) are all muscling into the market, joining smaller players already in the space like tunesBag and Mougg. The cloud removes storage or hardware limitations for digital-music collectors—their identity unlocks their personal collection anywhere there’s online access. Buying a new track in iTunes, for example, means it’s instantly available on the purchaser’s ipad, iphone or pc; iTunes Match will add copies of tracks users have purchased elsewhere. apple is charging $25 annually for up to 20,000 songs while Image credit: 10
  11. 5.THE BaTTlE OvEr “We are at pErSONalIzEd radIO the tipping point Well-established giant pandora—whose human- right now of transforming created “music genome” database formulates radio how radio is consumed stations based around user-selected artists—has new competition from on-demand services (MOG and delivered, and and Spotify, for example, have radio-like options) personalization and clear channel, which added personalized Heidi stations to its iHeartradio service in September. is the key there.” strategic solutions, Browning, Svp of pandora, which has amassed 37 million active pandora users and went public earlier this year, recently upgraded its site and removed its monthly listening cap for nonsubscribers. iHeartradio, meanwhile, as the bigger players battle it out, watch for more boasts far more songs, niche startups in this space like, which since it uses a more plays 22 subgenres of electronic music using tracks automated system. from Soundcloud; 8tracks, which bills itself as “handcrafted internet radio” and focuses on user- created mixes; and Songza, a “social radio” platform with user-made stations. Image credit: 11
  12. 6.rIp, Mp3 playEr Mp3 players, the compressed digital bell tolls for thee. When the device was introduced to the mass market in 1998, it was a music storage miracle, quickly putting encyclopedic collections into people’s pockets as their capacity increased. But in the last few years, with smartphones doubling as music players—along with navigation systems, video game consoles and more (see next item)—sales of music-only devices have slid. u.S. sales of apple’s iconic ipod peaked in the last quarter of 2008 at 22.7 million units and have been falling since (while iphone sales have skyrocketed); Npd estimates sales in the neighborhood of 7.5 million for the current (September) quarter, a 16% year-over-year slide. Watch for this once revolutionary gadget to fall out of use as smartphone penetration deepens and people stream music over everything from tablets to cars and Tvs. Image credit: 12
  13. 7.cOMING SOON “you’re TO a dEvIcE NEar yOu seeing this incredible as the options for streaming music rapidly multiply, via verizon’s diversity of places and we’ll move from storing music on devices like Mp3 fiOS Tv ways to listen and players and pcs to streaming it via an array of products. (as yet only consumers will rarely be far from a wealth of music. in three u.S. engage with music Heidi vEHIclES: automakers including ford states) and you love.” Browning, Svp of some Blu-ray strategic solutions, (with SyNc), Toyota (with Entune) and BMW players—and even pandora (with connecteddrive) are starting to include on Samsung’s lcd fridge. entertainment systems that let drivers connect to Spotify is available to Telia digital Tv customers in music apps like pandora through voice commands Sweden (where the service originated) and finland. and/or a touch screen. (Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Sony’s network-connected Tvs, Blu-ray players, home MINI also offer pandora integration, and it’s in the theater systems and playStation 3 consoles stream works with several more; BMW is integrating Spotify audio for subscribers to its Music unlimited service. rival MOG into some models.) Other game consoles also offer music streaming. HOME ENTErTaINMENT: Internet-enabled don’t forget the good old-fashioned stereo. New devices enable music through app offerings, receivers, like Onkyo’s TX-Nr609, connect to the subscriptions or bundled in. The Boxee set-top box, Internet and let owners stream music, as do Wifi- for example, offers pandora, MOG and Grooveshark compatible speakers, like those from Sonos. apps; roku offers pandora and rdio among its apps. among an array of options, pandora is also available 13
  14. 7. cOMING SOON TO a dEvIcE NEar yOuOne business model is to bundle the cost of BuNdlEd dEvIcES: Beyond Oblivion, a startup,access into the price of telecom plans, or even is set to launch a new model in this space by year-music-enabled devices themselves, giving the end: bundling ad-free music access intoprovider an advantage over rivals. the price of a device, initially “Mobile music smartphones and pcs is huge in Brazil andBuNdlEd plaNS: various phone and broadband (extending eventually to cars). India. … Because fixed-lineproviders bundle music into their plans. In the u.k., The company will partner computers are a true luxury invirgin Media is partnering with Spotify to include with various manufacturers emerging markets but cell phonesmusic with its broadband and mobile plans, and on products that grant are not, those living in them haverival Orange is similarly collaborating with french purchasers unlimited a different relationship withstreaming service deezer on bundled plans (as streaming and downloading mobile services than thoseit already does in france). In the u.S., MetropcS living in america, Europe privileges for Beyond and Japan.”recently launched a plan that includes access to Oblivion’s music service,rhapsody’s library for its android phones, and Sam dubbed Boinc, over the lifetime Howard-Spink,prepaid-phone company cricket includes access to music business of the device. Boinc plans toits streaming service Muve Music. launch in the u.S. and u.k., but professor, New york universitydigital Tv fees can also include streaming music: cEO adam kidron sees huge potentialIn Sweden and finland, Tv provider Telia has a in emerging markets and the ideapartnership with Spotify, and virgin Media now grants of “democratizing music consumption.”access to a Spotify app via set-top boxes in the u.k. 14
  15. 8.SHarING’S TIppING pOINT “While automated recommendation engines are great, getting a recommendation from a machine can only do so much. Successful music companies will be those that can build hybrid businesses and economies around human interactivity, not just consumption.” Sam Howard-Spink, music business professor, New york university Image credit: anik Shrestha
  16. 8. SHarING’S TIppING pOINT “We used to go to our friends’ houses to browse Music is naturally Now, with facebook inserting music sharing into their record collections. social, but for a long the social network itself (see The facebook Effect), while the digital we won’t have to guess what’s playing in all those But we haven’t been domain did little to earbuds. But while we’ll see a new cohort of mini- able to do this facilitate that. apple’s influencers (see Music’s New Influencers), don’t attempt to integrate expect everyone to online.” a social network (ping) opt in—many of Spotify with iTunes fell flat. But us will likely electcEO daniel Ek, in the past year or so, apps and to keep our guilty Time, Sept. 23, 2011 other services have popped up to facilitate pleasures private. sharing and discovery among friends and like- minded strangers (see next item and Everyone’s a dJ); established services have become more social— e.g., both pandora and rhapsody recently added the ability to follow other users and to share; and the new on-demand services like Spotify integrate the social graph. Image credit: 16
  17. 9.flOWING, TrackING aNd pOuNdING Music fans may prefer specialized spaces that MuSIcpOuNd lets buddies discover whether facilitate sharing and discovery over the wide world their interest graphs align. after users “pound” of facebook and services like pandora or Spotify. their phones together, the app analyzes their music Most of these let people share with both their social libraries and shows where they intersect. graph and an interest graph (strangers with similar taste). a few examples: MflOW is a u.k. service that describes itself as “Twitter meets iTunes”; users have “flows,” where they can broadcast tracks, and they can follow other users and buy from within their flows. users get 20% of sales they influence in credit toward their own purchases. SOuNdTrackING aNd SOuNdTrackEr both take a geosocial approach. The former is akin to Instagram with music, with users sharing a “playable music postcard” with friends and other followers. The latter lets people share with friends and discover “what’s hot” in their neighborhoods or specific regions. Image credit: 17
  18. 10.THE facEBOOk EffEcT In late September, facebook moved further in the Spotify says users who connect to facebook are direction of content curation, with users now able more engaged—they listen more often, to a wider to automatically reveal what they’re consuming in variety. The masses may well regard this type of real time. This includes what they’re listening to transparency as too radical, but if they do opt in, the via facebook partners such as Spotify, rdio, vevo, social graph could reinvigorate the music industry. iHeartradio, Mixcloud, rhaposdy, deezer and Soundcloud, with friends able to click over to hear the tracks in those services. “listening can spread really quickly through the graph,” facebook’s Mark zuckerberg noted, allowing users to discover “a huge amount of new music.” deezer’s cEO called it “a revolution for music fans,” and Billboard observed that by enabling legal music sharing, facebook is managing something the music industry has been attempting since Napster first launched. Music sharing also gives users another way to define themselves, as Spotify’s daniel Ek pointed out. Image credit: 18
  19. 11.BrINGING MySpacE Back Several incarnations and false starts later, can Myspace get its groove back? The once-robust music-oriented social network, which News corp. recently sold to advertising network Specific Media, is planning a relaunch. The goal is for the site to become, according to Specific Media’s Tim vanderhook, “a home for content creators and artists,” with Myspace leveraging its membership of musicians and fans and the fact that Justin Timberlake is a stakeholder. Image credits:;
  20. 12.MuSIc’S NEW INfluENcErS friends can let their network know what they’re The need for guidance is “The future tuning in to in real time on facebook, aficionados growing: With access to the of music will be driven rack up points and fans on, and celestial jukebox, music by the convergence engaged listeners can amass followers through consumers are likely services like 8tracks and apps like SoundTracking. to be paralyzed by Songza cEO of expert and choice without it. and co-founder social curation.” While bloggers have long held sway as music Elias roman, experts, new voices are pushing into the space Techcrunch, Sept. 13, 2011 once dominated by broadcast dJs, traditional music media and the record store whiz. These include Google’s new Magnifier, a “music discovery site” guided by a “team of music experts” who spotlight free music daily. Streaming service deezer is trying to differentiate itself as it launches in the u.k. by touting its staff recommendations: “We’re aiming for a cross between a digital magazine and a record shop where you can listen to all your favourite music,” its head of editorial told The Guardian. Image credit: 20
  21. 13.aGGrEGaTOr SErvIcES One route to music discovery is through aggregator EXfM is a chrome extension that collects any Mp3 services, which collect music from around the Web— files that users come across as they use the Web, sourcing it from bloggers, populist sources like Spotify creating an archive that can be sorted and shared. and even the user’s own Web wanderings—to help fans find what’s new and notable. These include: THE HypE MacHINE curates music mentioned by the top music blogs and streams those cuts. visitors can listen to the most popular current searches, look for tracks by genre and share favorites via Twitter. WE arE HuNTEd tracks the 99 most popular songs of the day via blogs, forums, Spotify and other social networking sites. SHufflEr.fM promotes itself as an “audio magazine made by music blogs,” letting users hear mixes of music cited by favored blogs, as well as trending songs and artists. Techcrunch describes its new ipad app as akin to flipboard for music. Image credit: 21
  22. 14.EvEryONE’S a dJ “What I found [on Turntable] was people… New tools are democratizing the dJ booth and alongside the discovery were playing music, they digitizing the jukebox of old, making anyone a aspect. (after questions were listening to music, they were talking to each other, potential influencer and expanding the possibilities about its legality, Turntable they were dancing, they for discovery. was an early player here, but the is establishing its legitimacy, were having fun. and I was space heated up this year with’s idea of with licensing secured from too. I was sold in about interactive listening. BMI and aScap.) a mobile five minutes.” app launched in September. TurNTaBlE.fM: It’s quickly become clear that and there’s already a copycat service, union Square this four-month-old group-listening service offers ventures partner something uniquely addicting to music fans—600,000 fred Wilson,, of them to date. participants a unique space for reaching old and Sept. 12, 2011 (currently in the u.S. only) new listeners alike, Turntable offers join or create themed rooms, intriguing opportunities for marketers, where they listen to tracks promoters and musicians themselves, all of selected by others or become whom are exploring how to make the most of dJs themselves—all as a the platform. head-bobbing avatar. dJs acquire fans and earn points, which are used to upgrade the avatars. With a chat feature built in, the social experience is fully integrated Image credit: 22
  23. 14. EvEryONE’S a dJaMONG frIENdS: Several services take cues from playmysong is an app and website that lets peopleTurntable but narrow the arena to friends. listening create playlists and then broadcast them to others;room,, MuMu player and letslisten bars, restaurants and other venues that pay for theall let users take turns playing dJ but feature much service can enable patrons equipped with the appsimpler interfaces than Turntable, sticking primarily to contribute to the soundtrack. The roxy “asto the chat and playlist features. for those on the go, Theatre in los angeles, among other allows users to broadcast their music via venues, is trying it out. systems get more andiphone, so they can hear what’s in friends’ earbuds. more advanced, there’s still something to be saiduSEr-crEaTEd BrOadcaSTING: launched two “I think about a real personyears ago for the Web and last year for the iphone, there’s always going telling you to listenJelli allows users to collectively control what’s to be this divide between the more to a song.”playing on the airwaves of online and participating passive listener—someone who justbroadcast radio stations by selecting songs for wants to set it and forget it—and the interactive listener who wants to actively Outloud.fmplaylists, voting on them, and even “bombing” a discover and share. Services like Spotify and co-foundersong to the bottom or “rocketing” it to the top. rdio are great and are revolutionizing the Steven Huynh Messaging and chat features way people listen to music, but there’s allow collaboration between the something really simple and nostalgic amateur dJs. In June, Jelli took its about being in a ‘room’ with some next step, reaching a multiyear friends and sharing agreement with two fM stations in music.” las vegas that are handing control of their programming to the Jelli community 24/7. Image credit: 23
  24. 15.EvEryONE’S a vJ a new crop of services allows users to queue, stream chill, launched in august, enables group video- and mix videos to create playlists, then share those viewing and can function as something like a with friends or play them at parties. for videos. vJs can screen their playlists, sourced from youTube and vimeo, in “chill, which officially launched in September, lets lounges.” There are a broad range of themes, music people create nonstop playlists of youTube music among them. videos and optimizes videos for full-screen viewing (similar to youTube on Tv). users can integrate their works through Twitter, with users tweeting social graph, sharing playlists via facebook, Twitter a song name plus the hashtag #nowplaying to and Tumblr. In addition, cull offers curated channels generate a video channel on passive viewers for those who’d rather lean back. can watch curated playlists or sort music videos based on “tweej’s” or cities (location of tweets). Similarly, the Hungarian-created service dragontape lets people create seamless youTube playlists; tools Some services focus on group-created playlists: allow users to vHX, redux and, among others, help rearrange songs and users create continuous video streams by sourcing add musical elements recommendations from the social graph. such as fades. Image credit: 24
  25. 16.yOuTuBE = MTv forget MTv—I want my youTube. With licensed music videos, vintage performance footage and more, youTube has always been the first place to search for any type of musical performance or artist, and its archives can keep music lovers absorbed. as many as 4 in 10 youTube visitors are watching music videos on the site, according to a recent comScore report. youTube is now taking on a bigger role in curation and discovery as it seeks to better leverage its archives. In august the site revamped its music page to play up youTube’s status as a music resource and platform, adding recommendations based on previously watched videos, a Top 100 list and curated lists from sources like SpIN and vice editors and musicians. There’s also a short list of major local concerts, with videos of the artists and links to buy tickets. Image credit: 25
  26. 17.THE alBuM lIvES ON “Maybe the album format as more people access music through streaming isn’t ready to die just yet,” services, where there’s no financial incentive to wrote Billboard’s Glenn select only standout tracks, we’re likely to see more peoples in June after lady listening to complete works. at the Gaga’s Born This Way sold a same time, more artists will million-plus copies in a single follow Björk and the kaiser “I think this [sales growth] is week, the first album in 18 chiefs in experimenting evidence that there is a months to do so. yes, many of those copies sold for with the format (see app market for digital albums and 99 cents through a promotion with amazon, but albums and fans in the bundles of tracks. There were peoples says that just proves how key an album can front Seat) and seek fears that no one would buy be as the peg for publicity, marketing and tours, not innovative ways to digital albums, but they to mention corporate partnerships. package digital do—and in growing albums (see numbers.” Thanks in part to lady Gaga, u.S. midyear album Martin Talbot, Motivational managing director, sales were up for the first time since 2004, according Objects). the Official charts to Nielsen SoundScan, albeit by just 1%. and while company, The Guardian, many predicted the death of the album as consumers June 26, 2011 gravitated toward single tracks on digital marketplaces, digital albums specifically were up by 19% in the u.S. and also well ahead of 2010 sales in the u.k. Image credit: 26
  27. alBuMS Technology has thus far outpaced creativity when as discrete apps, the songs have been gradually it comes to the album format. The last two years made available as in-app purchases, unveiling the brought a few experiments, like the ipad edition of album’s capabilities one song at a time. Biophilia Swedish House Mafia’s until One—which seems creates an immersive and engaging experience in more like a dvd with special features than an album a way that a traditional format cannot (although designed for a tablet—and re-releases of david Biophilia is also being released as a regular album). Bowie’s Space Oddity and Golden years as iphone apps that let users remix the tracks by adjusting The possibilities are many. In May the Washington, voice and instruments. (While artists have taken d.c.-based duo Bluebrain released an iphone app they advantage of apps as a distribution platform, these call a “location aware” album. It’s intended to be heard have generally had limited functions and scope.) on d.c.’s National Mall and plays music segments tailored to the listener’s location Then, in July, Björk set the bar for innovation with (determined using the phone’s GpS), an “app album,” Biophilia, created in collaboration adjusting to reflect changes in direction and with artists, designers, scientists, instrument even pace. a follow-up effort, set in New makers, writers and software developers. The free york’s central park, comes out this month. ipad/iphone app utilizes the interactive features We’ll also see more artists dip a toe of the mobile devices while serving as “mother into interactive app features, such as app” for its 10 songs, allowing users to explore The polyphonic Spree’s recent app music Biophilia’s themes of music, nature and technology. video for “Bullseye.” Image credit: 27
  28. 18. app alBuMSclick to see a demo of Björk’s Biophillia.
  29. 19.MOTIvaTIONal OBJEcTS In the digital era, the value of music has become The idea isn’t new, but with people fetishizing theoretical: radiohead asked fans to pay what they objects as more things get digitized, it will see wider wished for downloads of 2007’s In rainbows, and adoption. Other examples: this year lady Gaga sold Born This Way for 99 cents via an amazon promotion, even saying she didn’t The Music Tee, a 2009 collaboration between think the digital version was worth more Invisible dJ and clothing label lna, featured (“It’s invisible. It’s in space,” she explained in part). album art on the front, a track list on the back and downloading directions in the hang tag. Now the So-called motivational objects are one solution: u.k. company BaddETT is doing the same thing but a physical item that contains the digital music, with a monthly-subscription model. increasing the perception of value and satisfying a need for tangibility. “We know people need Earlier this year, the Norwegian something to hold in their hands,” explained the band datarock released a lead singer of Hungarian band The kolin, which is $50 red vinyl “diamond” accompanied by a uSB drive selling two recent singles in the form of special containing their latest single 3d glasses and a novelty pen along with scores of bonus (the songs can be downloaded tracks, photos, music videos and a concert film (the for free with purchase). package thus a play on the name datarock). Image credits:; 29
  30. 19. MOTIvaTIONal OBJEcTSThe band Of Montreal released their 2008 album,Skeletal lamping, in traditional formats but alsoas a T-shirt, tote bag, metal button, wall decaland paper lantern. Next up: a limited-editionbox set of the band’s 10 albums—in cassette form.They’re packaged in a wood box screen-printedwith original artwork; an Mp3 download of thealbums is included in the price.playbutton, which launched earlier this year, sellsalbums packaged in what looks like a noveltybutton, featuring album artwork. a tiny hard drive Nickcontains the tracks, three buttons allow playback, dangerfield, creator ofand there’s a headphone outlet. Bands including playbutton, florence + the Machine Elle, aug. 12, 2011 and Belle and Sebastian “I thought it was have used the format. important to establish a more intimate connection with an album—where you can hold it in your hand and have to go some- where to buy it.” Image credits: claudia Ochoa;
  31. 20.MuSIc + [ ] Music goes well with just about anything, but BOOkS: Twilight author lately we’re seeing novel pairings that focus on Stephenie Meyer published customized selections. playlists to go with the novels in the series, which she fOOd: an american Express promotion around called “a sort of soundtrack food-music pairings included a dinner whose menu for the book.” More writers was inspired by the lyrics of a Ben Harper song. The are following suit: One day “covers” series in San francisco brings together author david Nicholls, for foodie-event producer graffEats and indie-music-fest example, lists on his website producer Noise pop for gourmet dinners coupled the contents of the mix tapes with music; the latest one paid tribute to Serge that one protagonist gives the other two decades Gainsbourg. also San francisco-based, Turntable apart, and created Spotify and iTunes playlists with kitchen is a blog focused on food- the tracks. music pairings and now a service that sends subscribers a monthly package up next: Enhanced e-books that come with a containing recommended music, movie-type soundtrack. Booktrack is one startup in recipes, ingredients and more. this space. Its first release is the young-adult novel The power of Six, and it’s also taking on classics like Huckleberry finn and alice’s adventures in Wonderland. Image credits:; 31
  32. 20. MuSIc + [ ]HOTEl STayS: Earlier this year, MorgansHotel Group started offering 20-song playlistsdesigned to match the vibe at each property,accessible to guests via scannable Qr codeson keycards; new content is added everythree months. a free downloadable trackis also emailed to guests with their reservationconfirmation.fITTING rOOMS: Brazilian music brandingfirm Gomus uses rfId technology to play musicthat relates to the garment a shopper is tryingon in stores. a similar idea was implemented inSingapore in a partnership between Topshop andseveral other retailers with telecom firm Starhub,which wants to tout its online music downloadservice to young consumers. after customersexperience the musical fitting room, Starhub sendstext messages encouraging them to downloadsongs that match their style. Image credits:;
  33. 21.lIvE-STrEaMING cONcErTS concert tickets sold out, or just too pricey? Not facebook will be to worry. as the Internet makes distant, exclusive a competitor here. or expensive events (fashion shows, for example) The all-star Michael accessible to anyone, front-row seats are opening Jackson tribute up to Web-connected music fans. The idea of live concert in Wales in online concerts was piloted on virtual world Second early October marks life, which during its heyday hosted artists such as the first global pay- Suzanne vega and listening parties with the likes per-view broadcast on the site. live-streaming sites of singer-songwriter regina Spektor. BBc radio 1 such as ustream,, livestream and Big live even simulstreamed its real-world One Big Weekend are also competing in the music performance space, festival on a Second life island, back in 2006. aiming to sell ads against online concert viewing. Today’s fans need not settle for virtual lesser-known artists also have platforms for digital avatars. When youTube broadcast u2’s 2009 broadcasting. a few clever musicians are already rose Bowl performance, more than 10 million utilizing Google+ hangouts as performance spaces. people worldwide tuned in, prompting the site to and helps artists make some money by dive further into live-streaming. last year youTube, allowing them to set concert dates and sell virtual vevo and american Express partnered to launch tickets for digital currency; fans can interact with the the “unstaged” series, which has streamed concerts performer via a chat window and show appreciation from acts such as as alicia keys, arcade fire, duran through a virtual tip jar. duran and The National onto millions of screens. Image credit: 33
  34. 22.OpENING up THE rEcOrdING STudIO Musical collaboration is no longer confined to the Soundcloud is a platform that lets users share recording studio. Services such as Thounds allow their sounds across the Web. The Soundcloud users to upload “musical inspirations” and share player—which visualizes the audio recording as a them with friends, who can then offer feedback. wave—has a timed comments feature, so listeners Indaba—dubbed “the linkedIn of music” by can give feedback at specific spots. and Soundcloud Mashable—helps its 600,000-plus members virtually community groups help artists find collaborators. connect with other musicians to compose new tracks in Indaba’s sessions. The site also offers opportunities for musicians to connect with brands, entertainment industry professionals and publishers in addition to selling tracks on iTunes. Image credit: 34
  35. 23.arTISTS arE dOING IT fOr THEMSElvES a plethora of services make it increasingly easy for artists to manage and market themselves. platforms like Italy-based Sounday Music help artists with production—e.g., engineers to mix and master their track—distribution and promotion. Some services focus exclusively on distribution: vibedeck adds an e-commerce layer to Soundcloud, facebook, vibedeck itself, artist sites and more, allowing bands to sell directly to fans at no cost and keep 100% of the profits. Other services facilitate promotion, including fanBridge (which “helps you build and engage your fans”) and rootMusic, which assists with facebook marketing via its Bandpage tool. kollector, out of Brussels, allows artists to track in real time when their songs are broadcast anywhere in the world to ensure they get all their earned royalties. Image credit: 35
  36. 24.faNS IN THE frONT SEaT as the digital era eliminated walls between creators cuSTOMIzEd alBuMS: The kaiser chiefs added and their audiences, musicians interacted with fans a dIy spin to their latest album, The future Is directly on platforms like Myspace and got their help Medieval, by having people select which 10 of the funding albums through platforms like SellaBand. 20 new tracks they wanted to include and providing Now, fans are becoming more intimately linked tools for creating album art. participants could also with artists than ever, serving as collaborators and make a page to promote their creation and earned sometimes driving projects. £1 for each one that sold. faNS aS rEcOrd EXEcS: crowdbands is a sort faN-drIvEN cONcErTS: In Brazil, Queremos of cooperative label, with a $25 annual fee enabling (“We Want”) combines collective buying with a participants to weigh in on creative and business crowdfunding platform: fans co-invest to bring decisions and “directly affect how music is made, out a band; if the goal is achieved and the band released, and played.” plays, investors get partial to full refunds and free tickets. Queremos cO-crEaTING WITH faNS: Earlier this year singer has sponsored acts Imogen Heap solicited sound clips from fans and including Miike word suggestions; she incorporated the input to Snow, vampire create the track “lifeline,” all the while live-blogging Weekend and lcd over ustream—allowing fans to really feel part of the Soundsystem. process. and coca-cola sponsored a 24-hour session with Maroon 5, live-streamed at, in which the band created a song with fan input. Image credit: 36
  37. 24. faNS IN THE frONT SEaT 25. Motivational objectsfaNS aS vIdEOGrapHErS: Wilco’s fan video almost 35,000 fansproject is crowdsourcing location-specific backdrop have participated inclips for the band’s current tour, perhaps inspired dutch band c-mon &by lcd Soundsystem soliciting airplane-window kypski’s One frame offootage of clouds and sky for their final show fame project, whichearlier this year. debuted last fall: people pick a frameamong the more unique music video fan from the video forcollaborations, The vaccines asked fans to use a “More Is less,” filmcertain Twitter hashtag for shots of the indie rock themselves replicating the pose and upload it; theband taken at festival shows last summer, then replacement image is inserted, and the video isculled them to make a video for “Wetsuit,” a mellow refreshed every hour. More than a quarter-millionsummer anthem. Similarly, Nokia teamed up with people have contributed to a project by director The Noisettes in 2009, inviting over chris Milk, who last year solicited illustrations from 100 fans to use Nokia devices to Johnny cash fans to create a haunting video for his film their Saturday night out, final track; the video constantly evolves with new including a Noisettes show, then contributions. used the footage to promote the song “Saturday Night.” Image credits:; 37
  38. 25.rEcONNEcTING WITH rOOTS England’s “nu-folk” has picked up momentum in the INdIa: “you mostly hear Indian music in the coolest past two years, with music by artists like laura Marling, of pubs and discos, with the ‘hip’ crowd jiving and Mumford & Sons and The unthanks retaining shaking their buns to highly domestic, ‘made in traditional folk’s “strong sense of identification with India, for India’ kind of music. a punjabi hit number the land, the British vernacular… a democratically dIy used to be the badge of a downmarket place in aesthetic and inclusive warmth of a hearty campfire 1995—it’s progressed leaps and bounds up the social singalong,” according to The Telegraph. ladder since then.” In the u.S., americana music is arGENTINa: “The typical tango orchestra is flourishing, with the category added to coming back. There is a revival of the classic river the Merriam-Webster dictionary this plate music, and a lot of young people are going year and to the Grammy awards in back to the country’s roots, listening to tango and 2009. “Hipsters far and wide are filling going to shows.” classic american musical forms with new pEru: “peru is undergoing a period of appreciation meaning,” writes popMatters. up-and-comers here of popular cumbia music. While 10 years ago only include the bands dawes and Blitzen Trapper. the lowest socioeconomic levels listened to this type Elsewhere, traditional sounds and music that’s of music, it’s begun to permeate all social classes. assertively local are finding new favor, according to and the style of dancing has begun to imitate the our contributors: movements of native and popular dances in peru.” Image credit: 38
  39. 26.pOlITIcal parOdIES using easy-to-use remixing software and auto-Tuning eats a doughnut. another targets the firebrand leader programming, musicians around the world are quickly of the african National congress’ youth wing, Julius turning around political parodies aimed at public Malema. figures and their foibles. In the u.S., The Gregory Brothers’ hugely popular Muammar el-Qaddafi may be many things, but club “auto-tune the News” series has had fun with matters sensation? In february, Israeli musician Noy alooshe big and small, from the “Bed Intruder” to delaware subverted the libyan dictator’s call to hunt down politician christine O’donnell’s “I’m not a witch.” the opposition “inch by inch, house by house, home It’s not likely the craze will die out before the 2012 by home, alleyway by alleyway” into an electronica elections, with parody-cum-revolutionary music video, using pitbull political parodies and T-pain’s “Hey Baby.” The resulting “zenga zenga” helping to take the went viral and now has 4 million-plus youTube views. edge off what’s alooshe has since released several follow-ups. certain to be a bitter partisan fight. In South africa, parodies created by dJs out of politicians’ words are played on popular radio stations and in bars and clubs. One viral video was based around president Jacob zuma’s directive that police officers be paragons of physical fitness, with the words “Stomach in, chest out” repeating as a slovenly man Image credit: 39
  40. 26. pOlITIcal parOdIESclick to see a joint venture between Weezer and The Gregory Brothers.
  41. appENdIX: learn more about Our EXpErTS aNd INfluENcErS
  42. appENdIX HEIdI a veteran of both the director at Mdc’s Nine dots. Inspired by the BrOWNING interactive and traditional convergence of media, creative, data and technology, Svp of strategic solutions, advertising business, Browning was an early advocate for innovation and pandora Browning was an early and shared learnings within the industry. passionate pioneer in digital, Browning served as president of the San francisco mobile and social marketing. Most Bay area Interactive Group, is a board memberrecently, she served as Evp, global digital officer at of Social Media advertising consortium and hasuniversal Mccann and president of rally@uM, chaired the user-Generated content committeethe agency’s dedicated social media unit, which she for the Interactive advertising Bureau since 2008.launched. She developed the social media products In 2007, she led the first in-depth consumerand services, social marketing strategy, listening, segmentation and rOI study for social media,measurement, community engagement and “Never Ending friending, a Journey Into Socialenterprise consulting. Networking,” which quantifies the impact ofprior to uM, Heidi was Svp of client solutions for consumer-to-consumer pass-along in social Interactive Media, where her team provided She has been quoted in publications includingcentralized marketing services to Myspace, IGN, The New york Times, The Wall Street Journal,fox,, photobucket and fox advertising age and adweek.Sports. Before that, Browning was executive directorof media at Omnicom’s Organic, Inc. and media 42
  43. appENdIX Howard-Spink’s research interests a londoner by birth and New yorker since 1999, include the political economy of Howard-Spink is completing his ph.d. dissertation SaM international music industries on musical and copyright economies and cultural HOWard-SpINk and emerging network and hybridization in the u.S., Brazil and canada clinical assistantprofessor of music business, hybrid business models, through Nyu’s department of Media, culture New york university national and supranational and communication. a journalist and editor for Steinhardt’s department of Music and copyright and “media piracy” 16 years in the u.k., asia and the u.S., Howard- performing arts policies, globalization and Spink has written for publications including Music cultural hybridity in the BrIc Week, Music & copyright, The Guerrilla Guide countries, remix/mashup culture, video to the Music Industry, IBM Think research and games and interactive mobile apps, and media/ He is also a hip-hop/scratch dJ, cultural economics in the continental americas. a capoeirista and expert-level Guitar Hero. longtime gamer, Howard-Spink founded the Nyu Music video Games research project in his first year at Mpap. He also curated cMJ play, a one- day conference examining business opportunities for musicians in the interactive, mobile apps and gaming sectors, held during the cMJ Music Marathon in New york in 2010. 43
  44. appENdIX STEvEN HuyNH MIkE O’BrIEN Before co-founding O’Brien is a software engineer and co-founder and and developing the developer of He attended rutgers, STEvEN group-listening service and was an engineer at Squarespace, a website HuyNH +, Huynh attended builder, and Meetup, where he and Huynh MIkE O’BrIEN San francisco State university collaborated on what would become, co-founders and was a content moderator inspired by online chatting and sharing song links at and engineer at from youTube. O’Brien includes australian electronic—the world’s largest artist chet faker on his list of things to watch in network of local groups. Huynh says to for Terius Nash’s album 1977 and hopes self-deprecating hip-hop makes a comeback in 2012. 44
  45. THINGS TO WaTcH: MuSIc EdITION cONTacT:466 lexington avenueNew york, Ny 10017 Written and edited by Marian Berelowitz ann | @JWT Worldwide | @JWTIntelligence director of trendspotting ann | @anxietyIndex Trends strategists Jessica vaughn @annmmack Will palley proofreader and Nick ayala contributor design peter Mullaney © 2011 J. Walter Thompson company. all rights reserved.aBOuT JWT: JWT is the world’s best-known marketing communications brand. Headquartered in New york, JWT is atrue global network with more than 200 offices in over 90 countries employing nearly 10,000 marketing professionals.JWT consistently ranks among the top agency networks in the world and continues its dominant presence inthe industry by staying on the leading edge—from producing the first-ever Tv commercial in 1939 to developingaward-winning branded content for brands such as Smirnoff, Macy’s, ford and HSBc.JWT’s pioneering spirit enables the agency to forge deep relationships with clients including Bayer, Bloomberg,cadbury, diageo, dTc, ford, HSBc, Johnson & Johnson, kellogg’s, kimberly-clark, kraft, Nestlé, Nokia, rolex, royalcaribbean, Schick, Shell, unilever, vodafone and many others. JWT’s parent company is Wpp (NaSdaQ: WppGy).