Music Tech

May 24, 2023

It may not be accurate to say that music is having a moment right now, but from where I am seated, it sure feels like it.

I'm in Melbourne, Australia, and post-covid there has been an explosion of club nights both large and small. My Instagram feed is filled with line-up posters for festivals and events. Boiler Room has clearly hit the main stream and everyone you meet is carrying a USB and has a DDJ-400 at home.

I love it. More people playing and making music is a good thing.

With this explosion there are new tools emerging and updates to exisiting ones. I'm trying to keep an eye on it all so this is a bit of an attempt to document what I'm seeing:

It's hard to look past Spotify and Apple music for mainstream listenings. Soundcloud seems to have survived and Youtube and Bandcamp are there too.

Bandcamp, Beatport, Apple Music, Soulseek, Youtube to MP3, Discogs, are all places I've visited in the last couple of months. The UX of many of these is clunky and I would love if it someone would improve search. It's all very fragmented and mostly feels like it's a bit held together with duct tape. Ironically, the Soulseek app, although 90's looking, is the fastest search and download ux of the lot.

RA, Bands in Town, Tickettek, etc are all doing their thing. Dice is making some big moves in the UK and USA. The mobile first approach is great and I hope they continue to gain market share. Still, I'm travelling for the next couple of months and the only reliable way to know who is playing where and when is to check their socials.

Self Promotion
The link-in-bio tools have been adopted by a lot of artists. They seem to do a good enough job, but I'm not sure they really provide that much value to users. Supertape is a really interesting product that I found this morning. It looks like a beautiful aggregator of all your other services in one place and I can see that being a huge value to people.

Artist Tools
I'm on the iOS-beta right now for a product called [untitled] which helps artists manage their unreleased music which I dig. Ableton keep doing good stuff with native mobile products as well as their desktop software. I expect the mobile space here will continue to grow and expand with different AI powered things. We have AI Music charts now.

There are too many too count here. I think the business model or idea is that I give you my email in exchange for a notification on release day? IDK, but they are very popular. Related to this (data in exchange for something) are the Free Download tools that work with SoundCloud. They have become very popular lately and remind me of the Like Button mechanic on Facebook in the early 2010's.

What have I missed? Tour management is probably a thing that I haven't had exposure too. Oh, lol, and TikTok. I clearly don't use it otherwise it would've been at the top of the list here. 'TikTok DJ' seems to be the biggest dig you can take a someone on Twitter atm. Oh and Shazam, the work horse.


There is a lot of activity here and I'm going to keep watching it closely. I'd love to work on something in this space one day.