Context Is Key

In Beats + Bytes by Nue Agency

In the modern media age, the great debate has always been content vs. distribution. Is it the product or how powerfully it’s broadcast? Is it the medium or the message? But the days of having to answer that question alone are coming to an end.

There is more amazing content being created than ever before, and everyone’s got something to say. Each week, nearly 20,000 new songs are released on Spotify. There are endless articles, RSS feeds, newsletters, social media posts, and information resources at our disposal. There are also seemingly unlimited distribution options, from streaming platforms, to networks and media outlets, to the good old ‘Gram.

I understand the importance of making great content; the cream should rise to the top. And pole positioning on content platforms — getting playlisted on Rap Caviar or going top 10 on iHeart — can clearly help you blow up. But with seas of content flowing on a daily basis, context, not content, is now king.

How do you ingest, apply, repackage, and redistribute this wealth of knowledge and information in your life and your business? Music, for example, has deep-rooted, emotional, and often physical value. So its success can’t always be entirely about how catchy or ubiquitous a tune is. A song’s impact also revolves around how it is first experienced by an audience member; where, when, and how they see it, and the way in which it resonates based on the convergence of these contextual factors.

As the creator or distributor, the experience you create — the context — is central to the impression the content makes. Artists used to tour to support their albums. Now they put out albums to support their tours.

Face facts. The flip has switched. Make sure you’re not in the dark!

This week…

Last night, I hosted a live podcast with Bonin Bough and Michael Kassan at the Edrington US HQ as part of Advertising Week.

Wednesday, I’m in New Orleans for a live taping of our hit web series, CRWN. On this episode, Elliott interviews Lil Wayne. Catch the livestream on Tidal.

Thursday, I’m speaking at two conferences, Mondo and Digital Music Forum.

See you in the mix.



What Is Spotify Doing?
Dee Lockett – Vulture
After Buying Pandora, Will SiriusXM Make a Deal for Live Nation?
Georg Szalai – The Hollywood Reporter
Who Wins When Artists Upload Directly to Spotify?
Marc Hogan – Pitchfork
Tencent Music, Bound for U.S. IPO, Profits From Social Savvy
Sijia Jiang – Reuters
Apple’s Buyout of Shazam: 5 Reasons It Could Change Music Streaming Forever
Murray Stassen – MBW
Next Big Sound Brings Pandora Data to Light 
HDan Wissinger – The Next Big Sound
How Instagram Is Deciding the Future of Concerts and Live Music
Amy X. Wang – Rollingstone
How Does Shazam Work
Coding Geek
Everything You Need to Know About Clearing Music Samples
Deborah Mannis-Gardner – Performer Mag
Music on The Blockchain: eMusic Makes A Compelling Case for Token-Based Listening
Tristan Greene – The Next Web
The War Over Music Copyrights
Eric Peckham – TechCrunch
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Also published on Medium.