I. Music & Tech

Top Genre : 1st Time Hip Hop Tops Rock in U.S. 

Accounting for 25% of the music consumed in the U.S., Nielsen reported that for the first time in history Hip Hop (combined w/ R&B) has passed Rock as the most popular music genre. While Rock is still dominating physical album sales with 40% of the overall market, Hip Hop’s popularity, specifically amongst the millennial audience and younger is helping to facilitate the transition into the era of streaming. With over 184 billion streams in the first half of 2017 (a 62% increase compared to the same period in 2016), the changing tide will most likely continue to gain momentum. Read more.

Pay the Cost to be the Boss : Spotify Facing Copyright Infringement Lawsuits

While Spotify has made significant technical acquisitions and upgrades to ensure royalty payments and avoid licensing issues they are not in the clear just yet. Last week, Spotify was the target of two separate licensing infringement lawsuits. Combined, the lawsuits are bringing into question over 4,000 works. With a potential fine of $150k a piece this could be a hefty (unexpected) expense. As streaming platforms continue to evolve and put more checkpoints in place these types of set backs seem to be a cost of doing business. Read more here.

Pandora Impresses with 1 Billion Artist Impressions

The streaming pioneer Pandora, hit a very significant milestone last week when it’s Artist Marketing Platform (AMP) hit 1 Billion impressions. The platform gives artists the opportunity to sift through huge data sets via visual demos and decide how to effectively produce and distribute their content on the platform. AMPcast, which is another tool on the AMP platform lets artists record messages to target listeners. With only 11,000 active artist using AMP, and 14,000 messages the impressions mean engagement is effective. Read more about Pandora’s artist resources here.

SoundCloud’s Self Inflicted Pain?
In wake of massive staff cuts and office closings there has been a great deal of speculation as to the future of SoundCloud. After, having played a part in the early success of artists like Chance the Rapper, Post Malone, Bryson Tiller, Kehlani, and 25,000,000 million users there are many people, (including staff), asking, “how?”. In an article put out by The Verge last week, it seems like SoundCloud’s trouble is due to a non existent monetization strategy, poor service, weak licensing agreements, and a convoluted six tier subscription service. For more detail check it out here.
Polish Your Feed w/ Snug 
While branding is directly related to consistent content that meets the expectations of your targeted audience, Snug lets you preview how your next Instagram posts will look against your existing account’s feed before you send them. From corporate to personal brands, and every identity in between a well aligned Instagram presence has become the standard, check it out here.

II. Entrepreneurship

SoundCloud Next Generation
At a time when SoundCloud is the subject of much scrutiny, creating content where their loyal artists are front and center is a great look. SoundCloud next generation is Mini – Documentary that highlights independent creative communities in six different. SoundCloud has long been known for the subcultures and sub-genres that have come about from the open minded contributions of artists on their platform. The first five minute episode titled, “Degenerate Generation”, follows underground “Soundcloud Rappers”, Pouya, Fat Nick, and Lil Tracy. Check it out here.

Courtesy of LineForLine. Artists get started here.