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Weekly roundups
February 19, 2021

New tech in music industry - WR #55

Hey all! This week, I wanted to take a moment to talk about the tech trends coming up in the music industry. It is always good to focus on this side of the music industry to stay ahead of the curve and check on the next trends that might help you anticipate the year we’re heading towards.

#1. Trends 2021 for tech in the music industry

Well we’re still in the beginning of the year, and predictions are still coming up. MIDiA Research went ahead and highlighted three major trends that they would like to see evolve this year. And everything revolves around immersive experiences. In a nutshell: we are witnessing entertainment actors going for more involvement of audiences, segmentation of services and innovative ideas to help the audience keep growing.

This is an interesting trend to watch, since many experiments are being done on immersive experiences on livestream performances, social media or just new ways to attract audiences and monetize online communities. There should be a lot of new ideas being brought to life, a market polarization that should be coming up soon with Live Nation’s take on livestream or Napster on the verge of becoming the first immersive music streaming platform.

On the other hand, innovative tech is taken into account by the major actors evolving in the music industry. As an example, TikTok has had a pretty big impact on changing the role of users, as user-generated content boomed during lockdown. And right now, YouTube is launching its own “TikTok-like” short videos. Same logic: Twitter and Facebook are already working on a similar service as Clubhouse (a social platform around audio).

#2. iHeartMedia develops global tech on audio

I know it’s not a new tech, but it is a pretty big deal for iHeartMedia, which acquired Triton Digital for $230 million, by entering an agreement with Scripps. Triton Digital is an Advertising technology, dedicated to audio streaming, podcasts and analytics to enable music publishers to monetize their online audiences.

This the fifth audio-tech acquisition for iHeartMedia these last few years (including the podcast marketplace Vox Nest or the social ad data analytics platform Unified among others). iHeartMedia is now able to offer a full ad-service package on audio-demand, making it the only company with a global advertising technology and data analytics around audio.

#3. Technology and innovation by Big Hit and Universal

Staying on the matter of global online platforms, Universal Music Group is partnering with Big Hit Entertainment to launch the new JV label, and work towards launching the next big K-Pop band. This comes right after the announcement of Universal buying stakes in Big Hit a few months back. For now, not much is known about the format, the technology or platform that is being developed, but it is worth keeping an eye on!

#4. Investing in Bitcoin and building strategies

Moving onto one of the most talked about tech trends in the music industry: Blockchain. This week was an interesting one when it comes to blockchain and music. Jay-Z and Jack Dorsey announced their investment in a Bitcoin development fund. The value of the pledge right now is around $23 million, which would be managed by other board members. This is happening after Tidal purchased Sensorium VR Tokens mid-2020, and after rumors of Square (Dorsey’s payment processing company) buying out Tidal from Jay-Z. Maybe a scheme is setting right now between the two companies to take advantage of these emerging innovations for music.

#5. NFT, the new common ground between music and blockchain

Staying on the topic, you might have seen come and go lately, but NFT are the tokens that are launching debates of music on blockchain again. Mike Shinoda just sold an artwork for, paid through cryptocurrency through an NFT auction. This practice comes from the gaming industry which used virtual real estate as a way to counter piracy. The music industry went for another solution, but digital goods might be a new long term solution, having a clear impact on the value of a song, depending on how it is shared. Here is a full analysis of the phenomenon here.

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