Insights on streaming from the Web Summit

blue music canvasThe annual Web Summit in Dublin usually yields some interesting insights for the digital and streaming music industries, and this year has been no exception.

So far we’ve had a panel about the business and legal hurdles to streaming, which included music lawyer Cheryl Hodgson and Sammy Andrews, head of digital for Cooking Vinyl. “Live is the big thing for me that we haven’t joined the dots on yet,” said Andrews. “The streaming services have that listening data, and seeing our top listeners and where they live could potentially facilitate planning tours.” Some recent deals and research support interest in developing those ties.

Matthew Ogle, senior product developer at Spotify, also spoke at the event about the Discover Weekly playlists. His talk focused on music discovery, contrasting the rapid success of those personalized mixtapes with the tepid response to Spotify’s general Browse section. “It does ok, but it’s not setting the world on fire,” he said. “When you’re implementing a discovery feature, what you call it matters.” He also countered the idea that only human curators or extensive data stores could deliver successful music discovery options.

Music Ally also hosted an interview with two music industry veterans: Steve Angello, formerly of performing group Swedish House Mafia, and Brian Message, co-owner of ATC Management. Both expressed optimism about the growth of digital tools for the industry. They shared their experiences with launching new music into this environment and how it has particularly shifted the process for new artists. “The thing about radio was you’d take a track … but it’s come and gone very quickly,” said Message. “Nowadays, if you’ve got a focused track, you launch it and radio is one of the things you want, but the streaming of that track will carry on forever.”

Anna Washenko