We had a fantastic start of the summer with another AMP Talk - with our two partners, Propellerhead Software and Sony Music Entertainment Sweden.
AMP Talks is a series of breakfast events with influential and successful speakers in the music and technology industries. This time, we had the opportunity to listen to Mark Dennis, Managing Director at Sony Music Entertainment Sweden and Ernst Nathorst Böös, CEO & Founder of Propellerhead Software at the Sony Music Entertainment Sweden's office located in the heart of Norrmalm in Stockholm.
The topic - two growth journeys and two predictions for the future from different music industry actors. It was great to hear insights from two different sides of the industry - Propellerhead Software, a music creation software, and Sony Music Entertainment, a record label.
Both companies however, have both been affected by the opportunities the digital change has brought to the music industry in the past decade which was one of the main topics at our AMP Talk.
Mark discussed how the rise of influencers and popularity of streaming platforms like Youtube and Spotify has challenged the record labels in the recent years. Thanks to all the digital tools available out there, mostly for free, it is much easier for the artists nowadays to produce and stream everything themselves. “We need to redefine the reason to work with us. The reason is the value of the people and the ability to form a team around the artist” - says Mark. So why should an artist sign with a record label when they can just upload their tracks online? The true value is in the team - and of course the security that comes with signing with a label like Sony Music. The fact that the term "influencer" is now mostly associated with an Instagram star, has sometimes led the artists to forget that they are often influencers themselves, having a real impact on their dedicated listeners.
According to Mark, the biggest struggle in the past few years for the labels has been getting the audience to engage with the artist that they work with. This is no surprise, since you now have the option to download a couple of songs rather than buying the full album and you can even ask Alexa to play something for you based on your mood instead of putting your favorite record on.
When asked about his predictions for the future and the changes coming to the industry, Mark has brought up voice controlled devices and how the voice search option can affect the way we explore new music. We're probably all curious to see how that can change in the coming years.
Ernst brought us on a journey back to 1997, when Propellerhead Software was just starting out. The music creation software was actually part of the digital revolution in the late 90s - it was the first software that allowed the artist to make music without any additional equipment. All you needed was you computer, headphones and your creativity. And lots of time of course as the process can be complex. Over the last 20 years, the company has of course expanded. Propellerhead now offers a variety of products, including mobile apps, and 80% of sales are now downloads.
What will be the next big thing in the music industry according to Ernst? Well, there are now plenty of mobile apps and social networks that can make you feel like a professional photographer without a professional camera, platforms that give you a voice to share your opinions with friends and strangers and many others. But for the music makers, there is no equivalent of Instagram or Twitter, no platform to share their music with others, connect with other artists all over the world and collaborate with them. This is why Ernst founded Allihoopa - an app that allows you to do exactly that. Thanks to Allihoopa, you can listen, get inspired, give feedback, and make music with others. We also discussed how AI can change the way we create music today and the possibilities of creating a robot that would be so smart it could create fantastic music and upload it on Spotify right away. Let's see what the future brings!
Stay tuned for our next AMP Talk - and don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see what we're up to in the meantime!
Do you need a quick reminder of what Amplify is? We're taking music creativity & technology, remixing it with entrepreneurial excellence in a new and unique music tech incubator! Amplify is Sweden's first MusicTech oriented startup incubator, located at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.