Feeling the Earth Move: A Digital Music Revolution

If you’re reading this blog, you probably check the internet. And if you checked the internets yesterday, or live on the East Coast, you know we had a minor, yet vivid plate tectonic event (aka earthquake).  While many rushed on Twitter or Facebook to share their best witticism or plea for a hug (guilty) – people also began to share music that connected, comforted, and best summed up the events of the day.


Welcome To the World Cloud Music

Earthquake aside, more and more people are sharing music, and not just on Twitter and Facebook. This year Turntable.fm, Spotify, and most recently Google Music have all launched to not only great fanfare, but also to impressive numbers of new users. Throw in Last.fm, Rdio, Pandora, 8track, and good ol’ YouTube-and you’ll see that discovering new music, sharing it with your friends, and hopefully adding to your cache of cool has never been easier.

Unlike iTunes, new services like Spotify and Google Music operate on the mystical Cloud-that sea of servers somewhere (I imagine underground in the Nevada desert) that stores seemingly endless amounts of data. Just as Google docs revolutionized the way we work and save our documents-so too will Cloud music services by changing the way we buy, listen, and of course, share music.

In 1971 my mom walked to her local record shop in Rogers Park, Chicago and bought Carole King’s “Tapestry” LP record for $6. She went home and listened to it on repeat for months (and then her kids were born and we listened to it on repeat for a few more years). Today, with a Spotify account and $4.99/month-I can stream Tapestry, as well as have access to essentially unlimited amounts of music. From there, I can create an awesome “Girl Power” playlist (ft. Carole King, Aretha Franklin, Ani DiFranco, Nina Simone, and the Spice Girls) and send the link to my mom, back in Chicago.


Why Do We Share Music and How Can Brands Leverage This?

Why do people share music? And how can brands capitalize on what is often, simply, a cool contest? Brands need to become familiar with these new music services and the innovative features that have had the internet buzzing (and sharing). Consider sponsored playlists and real world rewards for sharing; developing exclusive content and offering remarkable experiences; promoting new products and engaging fans with contests and giveaways.

Converse has recently done a fantastic job of leveraging the “I was into them first” culture that tends to permeate online music discussion. They have established a free, community-based recording studio in Brooklyn, New York-to give up-and-coming bands access to state of the art recording equipment and the means to be exposed to a much larger audience. Content captured while recording, including songs and behind-the-scenes video, can then be used by both the band and Converse to promote both entities.


I’m looking forward to the Rubber Tracks playlist on Spotify, which I’m sure will be launching imminently. I’ll be looking there for the inside info on the next, greatest, most awesome band-that I’ll get to discover first-and all my friends will be able to do is “like” on Facebook.

What’s the best piece of new or old music you’ve discovered recently? Where did you come across it? Leave it in the comments.