On December 4th, Dailymotion played host to the NY Music Tech Meetup. The event, which is celebrating its ten year anniversary, was started by AudioDrops founder Seth Hillinger and has seen early demos from some of the biggest names in music technology including Spotify, Pledge Music, RapGenius (remember that name?), Twitch, BandsInTown... even Turntable.FM (remember that one?). The format wraps the opportunity to network among hackers, founders, and industry veterans around a few startup pitches, meant to solicit feedback and conversation from peers.
Hilinger kicked off the event with a reading from the new Beastie Boys Book extolling cassette culture back in the day and lambasting the criticism of digital music quality by comparing it to the sound of a tape in a Walkman that has been played so many times it has to be Scotch-taped back together. It was a reminder that it's not about technology for technology's sake but about removing the friction to people engaging with music.
For the December meetup, Hillinger handed over the reins to Dmitri Vietze, founder of the music tech PR firm rock paper scissors.
Dailymotion's Global Head of Music Simon Kellman kicked off with a report on Dailymotion's live event series Elevate. Kellman played a video excerpt from a recent Elevate performance and invited meetup attendees to future rooftop showcases. Attendees were excited to see Dailymotion continuing to build on their editorial and curatorial offerings and showing support for industry conversations by hosting a diverse mix of events in their space. The unique location and energy for the event brought out a range of developers, founders, and industry veterans including Tommy Boy Records founder Tom Silverman, tech-infused cultural commentator DJ Spooky, Billboard writer Cherie Hu, Qobuz managing director Dan Mackta, the always-effervescent Fiona Bloom, leading music app developer Dave Lowry of Hydric Media, and dozens more.
Stemit CEO Josh Kaplan made waves with his pitch on their marketplace for stems. Stems are the standalone song components such as vocal tracks, drum beats, or guitar parts which can then be licensed for use in new songs, DJ sets, and TV and films. The breakthrough aspect of Stemit is the use of a large crowdsourcing team, in which verified independent producers help music catalog owners or administrators manually extract stems from their recordings. Normally this can be an overwhelming task, fraught with errors.
But the real bomb dropped when Dubset's chief strategy officer Bob Barbiere came on stage. Dubset has been making waves by growing a new revenue stream for the music industry by taking on the tough challenge of licensing derivative content, such as the use of music in DJ mixes and remixes. Many in the industry took notice when Dubset announced a partnership with SoundCloud, which will allow for thousands of DJ mixes and remixes to be kept on line so that original music rights holders can monetize derivative content and DJs can keep their mixes and remixes online to build their brands and careers.
The jaw-dropping news was the very day of the NY Music Tech Meetup -- December 4, 2018 -- Apple Music quietly added a new genre called "DJ Mixes and Live Sets." (Go to the Browse section of iTunes or Apple Music to see for yourself.) It's very rare for Apple to add new genres and this is a strong indication that Dubset will have a major impact across the industry. In fact, during the Q&A an employee from Spotify was visibly stunned and shared his frustration that Apple had beat them to the punch on something he had been advocating internally for years.
You never know what will be revealed at the hearty and approachable NY Music Tech Meetup. Today's presenters will be tomorrow's leaders. To make sure you don't miss the next meetup, join the NY Music Tech Meetup group.