Greetings from Havana, Cuba, where I am on a week long cultural exploration.
It’s clear that the business landscape is rapidly changing. This week I’m having exciting conversations with big CPG brands looking to future proof their organizations. While we have ideas for days, it ultimately comes down to “how do I monetize?”
The answer is to put resources into big ideas. Five to ten years from now people may only know Red Bull as a media company, not as an energy drink. Brands want to be on the cutting edge, monetize and be authentic. It’s a difficult balance. Right now, it seems like the best path forward is to put resources into funding big bold bets.
Still many tech companies aren’t focused on making money but on proving concept, that is until recently. Spotify is a billion dollars in debt, SoundCloud could be headed down that very path as well. For the music business the biggest problem are consumers that perceive it all should be free. People will pay $6 a day for a coffee but gaffe at paying for consistent music. Maybe it’s because the market place is still too fragmented? If you cough up for Spotify you still miss a lot of Tidal exclusives.
But with all of the focus and hard work going into this, I’m confident the markets will evolve. As this shift happens ultimately the consumer will eventually win out and brands who’ve invested into the big ideas will reap the rewards. Yet monetization is part of the answer the other part is to make great art and products. Like I saw in Cuba, it’s the expressions of great art that trumps all. But those companies who achieve both will see that they get ahead of the curve now and become the icons of the future.
Spotify says growth has quickened since Apple Music’s launch
by Mia Shanley + Johnathan Weber / Reuters
Drake’s Views Destroys All-Time Streaming Album Record In The US
by Tim Ingham / MBWW
Streaming music has become Warner Music’s biggest business
by Peter Kafka / Recode
Artists Claim YouTube Pays Them Less Than Spotify. Are They Right?
by David Holmes / Fast Company
The Season Of Surprise Albums, From Beyoncé To James Blake
by Bob Boilen + Robin Hilton / NPR
Three Game Mechanics for the Music Business
by Bas Grasmayer / Music Tech Future
Why do you like what you like? And what does that mean? Tom Vanderbilt, author of You May Also Like: Taste in an Age of Endless Choice to talk about the real roots of music tasteRolling Stone Podcast: Roots of Musical Taste
Flo Music officially launched its iOS application, allowing users to create a social music playlist by syncing up to 10 nearby phones to form one master playlist.Flo Music: Social Playlist
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