This page organizes the newsletter into specific topics with additional sources to check out.
2023 Music Streaming Platform Review
Amazon Music (1/11/2023); Apple Music (1/25/2023); YouTube (2/8/2023); Spotify (2/22/2023); Deezer, Pandora, SiriusXM, and Tidal (3/8/2023); Tencent Music, Kakao Entertainment, Anghami, and Gaana (3/22/2023)
Additional Sources: 1. Ad-Supported Music Streaming is Broken. - David Turner, 2. '"You can touch your music"' - Andrew Thompson
Music Streaming Platform Histories
Tencent (7/22/2020); Audiomack (9/18/2019) Deezer (8/28/2019)
Additional sources: 1. Selling Digital Music, Formatting Culture by Jeremy Wade Phillips, 2. Platform Capitalism - Nick Srnicek, 3. 'SoundCloud and Bandcamp as Alternative Music Platforms' - David Hesmondhalgh, Ellis Jones, Andreas Rauh
Major Record Label Histories
History of Warner Music Group (1/12/2022), History of Sony Music Entertainment (1/26/2022), History of Universal Music Group (2/9/2022)
Additional Sources: 1. Appetite for Self-Destruction by Steve Knopper, 2. Fortune’s Fool by Fred Goodman 3. Hit Men: Power Brokers and Fast Money Inside the Music Business by Fredric Dannen
The Big Green Monster
Spotify's Stock Hit Bottom. What's Next? (5/4/2022) Spotify's Great Podcast Bet (6/9/2021) Spotify’s Perfectly Calculated ‘Wrapped’ Campaigns (11/20/2019), Why Spotify Will Struggle in India (12/5/2018)
Additional sources: 1. 'The Spotify Teardown', 2. 'Unfree Agents' - The Baffler, 3. Revenue Streams - The New Yorker
Social Media & the Record Industry
Social Media Doesn’t Want Music (4/19/2023), TikTok Cannot Afford the Music Industry (12/14/2022), The Unheard Battle Over Social Media Licensing (5/18/2022), TikTok's Advertising Niche (6/24/2020) TikTok's History (2/27/2019); Triller (2/5/2020)
Additional sources: 1. Playing to the Crowd by Nancy Bahm, 2. DIY Music and Politics of Social Media - Ellis Jones, 3. 'Making Sense of Metrics in the Music Industries' - Nancy Baym, Raj Bhargava, Fernando Diaz, David Hesmondhalgh, Elena Maris, Christopher J. Persaud
Song Rights Acquisition Histories
Can't Stop, Won't Stop: Music Catalogs Sales in 2023 (6/21/2023); Is the Music Catalog Sales Boom Over? (7/13/2022); History of Hipgnosis (10/14/2020); Brief History of Publishing Consolidation (5/27/2020)
Additional sources: 1. 'Mass Hipgnosis' / 'The Masters Own You' - The Baffler, 2. How Wall Street Stormed the Music Business / Blackstone-Backed Song Rights Machine Suffers Growing Pains - The Financial Times, 3. Sound Money - Bellona Mag
Music "Piracy" Histories
How Digital Piracy Shaped Modern Music (Part 1) (10/5/2022) / Part 2 (10/19/2022), The Persistent Lie About Music Piracy (10/9/2019); RIAA's History of Suing Music Fans (8/21/2019)
Additional sources: 1. 'All The Rave' by Joseph Karl Mann, 2. Democracy of Sound - Alex Sayf Cummings, 3. The Death & Life of the Music Industry in the Digital Age - Jim Rogers, 4. 'The Effect of File Sharing on Record Sales: An Empirical Analysis' by Felix Oberholzer Gee and Koleman Strumpf
A Study of the Playlist
United Kingdom 2021 Record Industry Parliamentary Inquiry
Part 3 (8/4/2021); Part 2 (5/5/2021); Part 1 (2/3/2021)
Additional sources: 1. Economics of Music Streaming - The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, 2. Music and streaming Market study update - Competition and Markets Authority; 3. 'Music Industry Reacts to UK Streaming Economics Inquiry Report' - Music Ally
Copyright Royalty Board Explorations
Does the Copyright Royalty Board Now Care About Musicians? (8/17/2022); History of the CRB (5/19/2021); Pandora's Anti-Songwriter Past (5/1/2019)
Additional sources: 1. Official Government Website, 2. 'Fine-Tuning: Why Extending the Public Performance Right in Sound Recordings Would Require Changes for the Copyright Royalty Board' - The George Washington Law Review
Does the Music Industry Still Want NFTs? (6/7/2023), The Record Industry Needs You to Love NFTs (Part 2) (3/23/2023), The Record Industry Needs You to Love NFTs (Part 1) (3/9/2023), The Record Industry Invests in the Metaverse (Part 2) (9/22/2023), The Record Industry Invests in the Metaverse (Part 1) (9/8/2023) Additional sources: Tales from the Crypto Winter - Bloomberg
Sites 2 Check Out
Dweller - A black-led Brooklyn techno festival and a dance music archival resource.
Interdependence - Mat Dryhurst and Holly Herndon musing tech, music, and other multi-syllabic topics.
The Lot Radio - A 24/7 non-profit radio station based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Love Injection - A NYC electronic music zine, radio show, and label.
Music Workers Alliance - A great org fighting for musicians' rights.
No Bells - THE editorial outfit covering every Discord/SoundCloud/TikTok microgenre.
This Machine Kills - A beautiful podcast of technology criticism from health care start-ups to semiconductors.
Union of Musicians and Allied Workers - Another great org fighting for musicians' rights.
Water & Music - A research group focused on music and technology.