Opinion: Haters in the Electronic Music Industry

There is so much hate going on in the world today, and with the advent of the internet there is no doubt that electronic music industry is not spared from it. As such, a question has to be asked: do we need “haters” in the electronic music industry?

You will be surprised by the answer we are about to give here because that answer is yes, haters are needed.

We know you’re already asking us,”Why? What for?” Let us explain:

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Being Self-Disciplined as an Electronic Music Artist

The life of an electronic music artist looks all fun and glamour from the outside. People have this image of electronic artists getting lost in the music and making people move to the beat; lights glowing and dimming.

The thing is that this glamour and frequent environment that artists are exposed to are tempting. If they don’t give importance to right things, they can easily get lost in that and ultimately lose what they actually stand for. Therefore, the outsider’s thinking is wrong and if they are right, then they are probably looking at a poorly disciplined artist.

A real and dedicated electronic artist is more concerned about manufacturing the right sounds and beautiful rhythms. They hardly pay attention to the tempting environments that are often part of. If they do seem absorbed, then it is rather a thing of the moment. Beyond that stage or club, they have serious issues to think about and realistic goals to meet.

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Gender Parity in Electronic Music by 2020

International Music Summit (IMS), the three-day educational and inspirational thought leadership platform and leading authority on electronic music, celebrated its 10thanniversary this year and once again brought forward some of the key issues facing the electronic music industry in 2017. Chief amongst these are the gender imbalances in studios and on festival and party line-ups, where only 5% of producers and 17% of festival headliners are female.

Became of this Smirnoff has launched an initiative to join forces to commit to double the number of female headliners, as announced on International Women’s Day.

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Helpful Tips to Getting Recognized as a Music Artist in the U.S.

It is every music artist’s dream to make it in the American music industry. Even big music artists from elsewhere in the world dream of building a fan base in the United States and being able to tour there. That should not come as a surprise since it remains the world’s biggest recorded-music market and, in the eyes of many, the focal entertainment country of the world. However, it’s also one of the most challenging countries for an overseas artist to crack.

This was the point of discussion at a panel in the recent Midem conference. Moderated by the Bloom Effect’s Fiona Bloom, the panel included Michele Amar, director of the US Office, Bureau Export; John Katovsich, VP of theatrical music at Lionsgate; Andreas Katsambas, recording executive at BMG; and Andrea Da Silva, global team leader, media and entertainment at the US Department of Commerce.

The panel provided some key takeaways that overseas artists should take note of:

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John 00 Fleming: The Forgotten Role of a DJ

Prompted by legitimate concern for his profession as a DJ, veteran Trance producer, DJ and label-owner John 00 Fleming took to his Facebook to share his thoughts on the subject.

“I often fear we’re going to lose a generation of DJs, in today’s world a producer makes a few popular tracks, gets signed to a management company then heads on the road touring having the DJ tag slapped on them,” he begins, already laying the foundations for what is driving him to share his thoughts.

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Why Data is Important for a Nightlife Venue or Business to be Profitable

Today we live in the information age and data has become a vital tool in the way business is being done. Even for those whose business is managing clubs, bars, or other event/music venues, the use of data has become an important and vital element in determining how well their business is faring, or what needs to be changed to improve the bottom line and thus business sustainability. Read more

Marijuana and the Nightlife Industry

It would have been unthinkable 30 years ago, but as marijuana legalization continues to make inroads in some form or another in many parts of the world, many businesses are looking at the possible opportunities it offers. This is especially so in the United States, where different states find themselves progressing at differing speed toward full legalization.

One example highlighting this is the recently celebrated cannabis “holiday”, the unofficial celebration held every April 20th. Fortune reported that it was not just the marijuana business that enjoyed major returns around that day, but that even other businesses like bars and clubs enjoyed major gains from the celebration of 4/20. In sheer terms of foot traffic, reports show that there was a marked 8% increase among nightlife spots and 36% for liquor stores that day, all directly connected to the holiday.

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How Clubs and Other Event Venues Can Be More Sustainable and Profitable

Clubs and other music venues have benefited greatly in recent years with the increasing patronage of live and electronic music fans. In the United States in particular, business has been great for many of these venues as electronic music continues to boom and spaces are now being filled to the brim during events of all sizes and types.

However, there are challenges that still remain. The main one remains instability, essentially the fact that the revenue that these venues depend on is as unpredictable as ever. Thus, on top of ensuring events are successful by using the Industry Resources we provide on our site, we also highly encourage venues take alternative action to ensure continued operation.

Brendon Anthony, the director of the Texas Music Office, suggests a couple of steps that venues should undertake to make their business more sustainable and profitable.

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Most Common Pro-Audio Pitfalls At Electronic Music Events

Producing an electronic music event is no easy feat. There are a million and one things to properly execute that could go wrong at any time. From taping down the power cables to artist pick-up, many factors contribute to a successful, or not so much, experience.

We’ve done our rounds of event production and know there are common professional audio pitfalls at electronic music events of all sizes and kinds. Subtract Music founder Anton Tumas has been DJing and curating his own events for years now, gaining valuable experience in the process as both an artist and a party-curator. We put our experiences together to compile a list of common issues that can arise at any electronic music event,  and thus could be thought of and prevented beforehand.

Learn from our own and other’s mistakes. A lot of these issues are resolved simply by hiring a competent sound company to do the work for you.

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15 Music Startups to Watch Out For

There has been quite some mixed opinion as to whether 2017 will be a good year for music/tech startups. Some feel this year does not hold much promise with the seeming lack of excitement with what these startups have to offer. There are also those who feel pessimistic as far as their chances for sustainability are concerned, given the current issues facing the music industry in general.

The truth is that these negative sentiments do not reflect the whole picture. For one, there are a number of options already available for startups to secure the needed funding and investments. Also worth noting is the fact that many of these startups have what you could refer to as more “low-key” ambitions, making them more sustainable. While there are some who seek to be the next Spotify, many of them look to leverage existing platforms and build on them to create some innovative services and technologies.

Music Ally has recently come up with a list of the most interesting music startups to watch out for. We will be highlighting 15 of them here as we showcase what each startup has to offer in the music industry.


Launched in November 2015, this Singapore-based startup pitches itself as a “social music maker and recording studio.” Its app offers a 2-track recording capabilities for musicians, a built-in editor, collaboration features, post video clips, and, just recently, mastering features as well.  It has also been aggressive in acquisitions. In the past year, it has acquired rival Composr, US design studio Mono, and even a 49% stake on Rolling Stone Magazine’s publisher Wenner Media. In an interview, BandLab’s CEO Meng Ru Kuok said, “We are focused on the consumer and the supply chain of music, and innovative business models around music that exist today…BandLab’s goal is to be a global music business.”


Disciple Media

Started in the UK by musician Benji Vaughan and music executive Leanne Sharman in June 2016, Discple Media develops the platform for artist apps. It aims to help musicians connect to their audiences via smartphones while allowing audiences to push content back to the musicians as well. In an interview, Sherman explained that the platform helps provide an incremental revenue stream for artists, record companies, publishers, and collecting societies. Despite being a newcomer, it has managed to snag some high profile clients with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Luke Bryan, and KSI using their platform.


Dot Blockchain

Unlike many startups, and especially in the music industry, Dot Blackchain stands out for being a “public benefit corporation”, which means it is not established as a for profit operation. What this startup aims to achieve is to develop a new media format and architecture where artists, songwriters, and their shareholders can “express their rights and wishes” regarding the commercial use of their work. It was launched in August 2016 with the introduction of its file-bundling technology, a registry of ‘minimum viable data’ for works, and plug-ins for users. This project is expected to begin its second and third planned phases later this year. with more input from the music industry. At the same it time, it looks at contributing between 5% and 25% of its revenues towards education and music-focused charities.



Dubset began as “DJ-defined radio service” in 2011 that offered streaming mixes from DJs and used music fingerprinting to identify tracks and pay music rights holders. It has evolved over the years as it introduced new technologies. Notable of these is MixBank, launched in 2016, which identifies music used in remixes and mixes and clear the music’s use through deals with labels and publishers before it is distributed. Through MixBank, it has managed to enter into relationships with high-profile clients such as Apple Music and Spotify. Already, the service has shown signs of promise when it released its first licensed remix in October 2016: DJ Jazzy Jeff’s remix of Anderson Paak’s “Room In Here”.


Gearbox Records

While Gearbox is mainly a UK-based independent label that releases its music on vinyl, it employs a good deal of technology, especially for its music. It owns an analogue vinyl-cutting facility which cuts its records with no digital process being employed to create an authentic vinyl sound. In 2017, the company is going further in its vinyl technology with the introduction of Gearbox Automatic, which is described as an “autostreaming hifi turntable” that not only plays vinyl but also add tracks to streaming playlists. Make no mistake though, it is not ripping vinyl tracks into digital files but rather matches the records with their digital versions on Apple Music or Spotify that people can add in their digital libraries and play them on the move.



Grammofy is one of the few music services that is focused on the classical music genre. Through its app, it offers a subscription service of weekly curated collections of classical music, guiding its users to the different works, musicians, and composers in the genre. In addition, it employs expert curators from BBC Music and Gramophone Magazine and offers both compressed and premium audio quality. Since its launch in Germany and the UK in May 2016, it has expanded to other countries in Europe, as well as in the United States. For now, its app is only available on iOS.




Grooveo is an artist-centric live streaming platform for DJ’s with unique tools to engage audiences and allow for monetization through direct fan donations. The recently-launched Grooveo aims to disrupt this market with a distinctive quality: those using it can get paid during their stream.

Grooveo works the same way most streaming services do, requiring DJs to provide only a soundcard and webcam to use to sync their performance with the app. It works on multiple systems, from vinyl to digital, and even can be used with multiple cameras so viewers can get a full breadth of the “live” experience. Then, during the set, viewers have a chance to tip DJs as their performing using “beatcoins.” Later, they can even be paid for their own royalties.



Instrumental may be just an independent label (albeit partly owned by Warner Music Group), but it has a powerful technology at its employ. This technology is a specially built software that explores YouTube’s API for data on new music content creators and helps identify those who have the fastest growing engagement for the label to sign a record deal with. One example of this strategy is the label’s signing of Johnny Orlando, a 13-year old Canadian with a million fan following on, Instagram, and YouTube. In August 2016, Instrumental added a non-music division called DSCVRY, which identifies emerging social stars and connect them to brands for marketing campaigns.



Jaak is one of the startups exploring blockchain technology and music, in which it breaks down the anatomy of a song: songwriters, producers, artists, publishers and labels.“As its founder Vaughn McKenzie explained the idea behind the technology, “It’s just a way to design things that can work exactly how you want them to…it’s business logic, in an app.” This smart contract connects apps, websites, games and anything else that wants access to a certain song, thus providing a more interactive music experience. It has been working on the technology since 2014 and is due to announce its first product this year. For the meantime, it has been talking with various players in the music industry about what it could do for the industry.



Behind JoinMyPlaylist are two Danish entrepreneurs with experience in the music/tech realm. Leveraging from their experiences, they went on to create an app that encourages users to “experience music live with others” through live playlists that can be shared from jukebox to office radio. Even artists can join in as well by creating their own live playlists that they can share. As the industry is feeling the need to foster more conversations around music on platforms such as Apple Music and Spotify, JoinMyPlaylist strives to show how this can be done.



UK-based startup Jukedeck offers an interesting premise: utilizing AI or, to be specific, neural-network technology to compose music. Since the original prototype was introduced in 2012, its system went through significant improvements and is now being used mainly by video creators. While the technology itself is still in its early stages, its CEO Ed Newton-Rex foresees some potential uses for the technology, including the ability to teach music.




Another British startup in the list, Landmrk is considered to be music’s equivalent to Pokemon Go as far as technology is concerned. It is built on a location-based and augmented reality platform that can be utilized to run campaigns where digital content is dropped in physical locations for users to find, working the same way as Pokemon Go. It has already found success in the campaigns for Alt-J, Keith Richards, and CNCO. Beyond music, it also made its way into the TV industry through the campaign it ran for Showtime’s TV series Homeland.




London’s Mbryonic offers a visual approach in promoting artists and brands. In this case, it’s the use of virtual reality, game graphics, and live visuals that immerses people into the world of the artist. In addition, it has also created another product that transforms old music videos into 360-degree VR presentations that reacts to music and other commands as well. For its founder Tom Szirtes, this technology provides an opportunity for new revenue streams as well. “Why go to the expense of staging a gig…when you could stage an entirely virtual gig,” he pointed out.




Another British startup that is looking to tap into virtual reality for music is MelodyVR. Its focus is providing a total VR experience by providing both the hardware (through its range of headsets to be launched this year) and the content, with a catalogue of live performances shot specially for VR. It is set to be launched this year and has been able to secure partnerships with a number of artists, labels, venues, and festivals. It also recently launched a closed beta for Samsung Gear VR, targeting about 1000 users in Europe and the U.S.


Mind Music Labs


Sweden’s Mind Music Labs is the startup behind what is considered the first real smart guitar in the world, the Sensus Smart Guitar. This guitar is a fully-functioning guitar with a digital audio workstation (DAW) that can modify the guitar’s sounds during looping or mixing. It also can be connected to the internet to play streaming music, which the user can play along. While this can be seen as part of a greater trend towards connectivity in instruments, Mind Music Labs’ Sensus stands out for its emphasis on the physical musical instrument that people can play with.


Source: Music Ally

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