Welcome back y’all. This week I’m forgoing the newsletter's center essay, cause it’s an American holiday and I didn’t have enough time this week to edit my main essay. But, maybe if you like this format vs. the essay, then let me know! Anyway as always, if you enjoy the newsletter recommend it to friends and feel free to email any comments.
Spotify Does, In Fact, Fill Mood Music Playlists With Fake Artists - TrackRecord
I easily could’ve written another 2000 words on this particular piece, just because the conversation around “fake artists” is so interesting to me. Yes, of course the artists aren’t fake, but essentially I was always more obsessed with how these muzak tracks were playlisted than who was creating the music. Billboard’s piece on the topic by Cherie Hu observed a few other playlisting trends and skewing towards certain labels that again makes me question exactly what is happening with these Spotify mood playlists.
I’m putting this here, because honestly I never shut-up about it. The opening anecdote about Republic Records throwing the entire kitchen sink for a Post Malone hit and the subtle hints towards the “fake artists” controversy is all *chef’s kiss*. The piece highlights a lot of needless drama, but it does paint a humorous portrait of just how important playlists are towards the major label system.
This Is What Post IPO Life Will Look Like For Spotify - Midia Research
Mark Mulligan offers a fairly sober look at what will be in store for Spotify if they IPO in early 2018. The big picture concern that Mulligan identifies is wondering how Spotify will endure when it can no longer just sell narrative and needs to prove that it’s business can work. I’ll just a say little thing here, if Spotify IPOs don’t be shocked to start seeing more stories about the rise of Amazon Music and the fact that Apple Music might actually be making some headway with paid subscribers. Just a thought.
That I don’t have a ton to say here speaks to my own biases within this space and where I need to improve. Still, as I was telling a friend yesterday there are so many music platforms that it’s really hard to take seriously any article that names 5 people and declares them the most powerful people in music. Tangent, but I never wanna forget just how many ways music consumption can occur even in a post-streaming world. A single app, nor playlist, can control ephemeral air vibrations.
This is purely random, but I wanted to drop a link of Austin Kramer’s Spotify playlist form. He’s the head of EDM at Spotify, so kind of a big deal, maybe, perhaps. If you’re within the industry I’m sure this is nothing new, but figured it might be worth a look for those a bit outside of this world.
Pennies That Add Up to $16.98: Why CD's Cost So Much - The New York Times
Recently, I trolled through the New York Times archives, cause I’m that kind of fucking nerd. The goal was to find a piece that broke down why the fuck CDs were so expensive in the 90s, which I found here. I won’t spill all my cards, but I do really do find it interesting how there are moments when the music industry is the most successful is when consumers are treated the absolute worst. Of course that isn’t surprising, but ballooning CD prices for certain artists is absolutely like nothing happening today. ;)
Lol, thanks for reading and see y’all next week!