Global tools for local use
May 27, 2023

The rize of “glocalization”

Graph: Will Page

In the latest Trapital podcast, Dan Runcie talks to Will Page, the author, and economist, about "glocalization", the phenomenon which means creating products for global markets that bring local cultures together. Runcie and Page argue that "glocalization makes it harder for mega superstars to emerge, especially from established markets... The major record labels must sign and develop talent in each region to maintain market share. With increased costs (without the promise of increased revenue), glocalization will shift everything from KPIs, value props to new artists, and future expansion plans".

Deserter's song
April 14, 2023

Dan Runcie: The business behind Coachella

"Unlike other trends and even other festivals, Coachella developed a brand that can sell itself. This festival could sell out tickets before announcing a lineup if it wanted to. Fans want the vibes. The influencers, fashion, and activations will be there regardless of who performs on stage. In the early 2010s, the festival became a who’s who for celebrity attendance. Attending was a flex, like sitting courtside at a Lakers game" - Trapital's Dan Runcie looks into Coachella in his latest podcast. He is joined by Tati Cirisano from MIDiA Research. They also talk about untapped opportunities for Coachella, how the rise of concert ticket prices impacts it, and how festival lineups are becoming homogenous.

"Now that gaming is bigger than ever, it feels like it’s only a matter of time until a video game can turn a decades-old hit into a viral cultural moment" - Dan Runcie points out introducing his latest podcast about the future of music and gaming. His guest Vickie Nauman, specialist in music and technology, believes that there's a big opportunity, and that it's going to be different: "What I love about gaming is that you hear music differently when you’re gaming. There’s so much potential we haven’t tapped into. Sync license is the best way to do things in gaming. You want something specific".

On a spaceship
March 03, 2023

Dan Runcie: The rise of Burna Boy

Nigerian afrobeats megastar Burna Boy was Spotify's most-streamed African artist globally in 2022. He sold out Madison Square Garden in 2022, and has also performed at halftime at the NBA All-Star Game. The Burna Boy will also become the first African artist to headline a show at London Stadium, and is about to perform at Coachella. Trapital's Dan Runcie looks back at Burna Boy's decade-long career and his path to stardom.

Trapital Dan Runcie's latest podcast is about the Super Bowl Halftime Show, how it evolved since Jay-Z got involved, and why artists agree to play for free: "In 95% of situations, companies asking talent to do things free 'for exposure' is bullshit. But the Super Bowl halftime show is one of those 5% exceptions. It’s the rare event that the talent can reap the long-term rewards for the exposure." This year, Rihanna will perform and she has prepared her business for the "after". Listen/watch the podcast below.

The low barriers to entry for podcasting made it harder for exclusive premium podcasts to stand out over free alternatives that are ad-supported and widely distributed" - Dan Runcie argues in his latest memo about why the exclusive audio strategies have struggled in the past. However, all is not lost - "as local language music continues to rise in the streaming era, we may see more wins from digital streaming providers that aren’t based in the western world. In podcasting, paid products have found value in the right circles. Ben Thompson’s Stratechery has evolved into a paid podcast network, which was tied to his subscription-based media business".

"Every digital streaming provider has a treasure trove of data on their deep catalogs and how their users interact with each song. This same data, along with their relentless A/B testing, has upped the effectiveness of personalized algorithms to keep users on the platform" - Trapital's Dan Runcie points out in his latest memo. He talked to Ari Herstand, an independent artist, course instructor, and author, who believes that algorithmic shift works in favor of independent artists who may not have the ear of the top playlist editors, but have a better chance to show up in one of your Spotify Mixes. It’s a numbers game, and numbers games benefit indies who are less reliant on gatekeepers.

Trapital's Dan Runcie is looking into Diddy's businesses with tequila and cannabis, building upon a successful venture with Ciroc vodka. Some interesting thoughts by the entertainment/business analyst: "Tequila is a less mature liquor than vodka, but U.S. tequila sales may soon outpace vodka as the #1 spirits category. Tequila has different drinking occasions, which shifts the marketing and messaging... Cannabis is a more complex industry. Many Black business leaders want in to help reset the narrative. Historically, the criminalization of weed affects Black people disproportionately, but the legalization of weed has benefitted white business owners the most".

Soil, water, air, light... and music
January 09, 2023

Podcast: Links between music and plants

The latest episode of Source Material podcast explores the symbiotic links between electronic music and house plants discovering how bass frequencies mimic bees and why festivals are adopting sonic soil pollution. Diving into the world of frequencies and root systems, RA's Martha Pazienti Caidan speaks to four musicians and artists who make music and/or technology for plants - biotherapeutic musician Imka, Joe Patitucci of PlantWave, an app that translates plants' biorhythms into music, sound artist Karine Bonneval and composer Erland Cooper.

Punk's (not) jazz
November 08, 2022

Podcast: What do punk and jazz have in common?

Music writer Piotr Orlov shares 10 episodes of his podcast Dada Strain Radio of music and interviews about rhythm, improvisation and community. Orlov points out that he wants to want to makes work "that creates musical *and* social connections, in historical *and* contemporary contexts". Also, he wants to "establish the underlying points that 1) free jazz is actually community dance music, 2) great DJ sets are actually improvised performances, and 3) the intentions of many of its most beloved practitioners transcend simple musical 'entertainment'". Episode 2 features the Irreversible Entanglements/Blacks’ Myths bassist Luke Stewart on the anti-capitalist and DIY aspects of punk and jazz cultures which have a lot in common.

Drugs side of the Lhooq
October 14, 2022

Podcast: The changing landscape of drugs

Party and drugs specialist Michelle Lhooq discusses the changing landscape of drugs in the New Models podcast - from legalization grifts to “spectrum sobriety”, They also discuss nü party paradigms, emergent synthetics, and the gentrification of club drugs like K, MDMA, and 3-MMC. Additionally, Lil Internet fills in some context with fascinating explainers on Berlin’s Telegram drug delivery services. Listen to the podcast -

Guardian takes it all
June 19, 2022

Abbatars changing the future of music!?

How will digital technology shape the future of live music - that's the theme of the Guardian podcast about Abba Voyage, a digital Abba tour which debuted in London last month. The production cost £140m. The Guardian’s head rock and pop critic, Alexis Petridis, and the Guardian’s deputy music editor, Laura Snapes, were there. Was it history in the making?

Sounding History is a podcast about the global history of music with a twist. Hosts, music historians Tom Irvine and Chris Smith explore sonic impacts of the extraction of resources from the Earth’s environment. Instead of narrating music history as a story about performers, composers, and works, they explore how extraction economy, and the historical processes that came with it, such as settler colonialism, enslavement, and environmental destruction made the world of sound we live in today. In the latest episode they discuss water canals and energy cables and the connection between the two. Their goal is a music history for a new era: the Anthropocene, the age of human-generated climate change.

Banksy's hip-hop rat

"Almost since it first emerged on the streets of the Bronx, audiences have expected hip-hop to express a revolutionary purpose. But perhaps this music shouldn’t have to take a political stand" - music critic Kelefa Sanneh argues in his latest Guardian podcast about the expectations from hip-hop. "Rapping often makes people self-conscious" - Sanneh points out. Reads the text version here.

A number of digital service owners – including Spotify, Apple, Amazon, and Google – are trying to cut the amount of money they pay songwriters in the US to the “lowest royalty rates in history”. The National Music Publishers’ Association, on the other side, is looking to raise the current rate up to 20% of a streaming service’s annual revenues (it's 15,1% at the time). Music Business Worldwide tries to find out whether the music streaming services can actually afford to pay artists more.

A beautiful and insightful TED talk by Hrishikesh Hirway, creator of Song Exploder, a podcast about the creative process of songwriting. He talks about how important it is to be fully engaged when listening to a song, and compares it to listening to people, giving them full attention and effort. He also plays one of his songs and goes into the construction of it. Great stuff!

Bad influence
September 25, 2021

Podcast: Music copyright has gone too far

A very interesting podcast on The Verge about music copyright and how it has supposedly gone too far with lawsuits based on similarities between songs, rather than plagiarism. "We have seen a shift where the music industry has gone from being a physical goods business to an intellectual property business. When a song starts to succeed, we see all kinds of public lawsuits and private settlements to make sure that in order to recoup on your intellectual property, which is currently earning probably negligible revenue in streaming and other places, but when there’s an opportunity for a big thing that has hit at radio or might have a big sync license in a film, yeah, you’re going to go and see if you can get a piece of it. If you look at the public record of songs which are currently under litigation, they’re only songs which are succeeding overwhelmingly".

Group confinement
September 02, 2021

Podcast: Songs recorded in prison

Dogpatch is a podcast with two funny hosts Dante Carfagna and Jon Kirby talking about music, and playing music on a theme in each episode. The last episode was about music recorded in prison, by prisoners, the big chunk of it from the 1970s. Maximum Security Prism episode features music by Location Service, Walls, Reality Index, Public-Use Guitar, Pando, Cashbox Directory, All-State Band, Bids, Culture Gaps, Concrete Reflection, Cupcake, Winston Moore, Studio Guns, Isolated Not Isolation, Rodeos, Stateville Merch Booth, and Heartsongs.

There's also beauty there
August 29, 2021

New Sounds makes a selection of music from Afghanistan


New Sounds produced a podcast with a selection of music from Afghanistan, putting a different light on the troubled nation. Among the selected are Homayun Sakhi and Quraishi with their rubâb music, folk poems of Afghani women, the Hazara tradition by Hamid Sakhizada, and adapted music from the Khorasan region by the duo Badieh. Much of the music comes from musicians who have fled the country to Europe or North America.

Brian Jones

New Spotify Original podcast 'Deathbed Confessions', covering some of the most notorious dying words throughout pop culture history, has debuted this week. The first episode covers the unsolved 1922 murder of silent film director William Desmond Taylor, who was found dead from a gunshot wound in his apartment in the Westlake neighborhood of Los Angeles. Future episodes will cover Frank Thorogood, the building contractor who claimed he murdered the Rolling Stones’ guitarist Brian Jones, who was thought to have drowned accidentally in a swimming pool; and the conspiracy surrounding CIA Agent E. Howard Hunt, who claimed, while sick, that he and several others had played a role in JFK’s assassination.

Like a darker Nick Cave song
July 08, 2021

Podcast: The Lawson family murders

"The Songs in the Key of Death podcast looks at the historic true crimes that inspired a selection of murder ballads. It combines music, true crime, history, and edge-of-your-seat storytelling". The latest episode goes into the Lawson family murders. "On Christmas Day 1929, Charlie Lawson committed the chilling act of murdering his wife and children. What’s darker is the reason why, according to some true crime authors. But are they right, and what do we know today about the rare phenomenon of familicide?".

More money - more problems, no money - no music
July 06, 2021

Podcast: The impact money has had on music-making through the centuries

The latest episode of The Listening Service podcast explores how our transactional economy underpins centuries of music-making from Notre-Dame’s patronage of the polyphonic Perotin, over Beethoven writing a symphony for £100 and Wagner losing over a million on the premiere of his operatic masterpiece The Ring cycle, to Pet Shop Boys singing about everything reduced to financial value.

The crime of being free
July 01, 2021

Podcast: The sexism of Omie Wise story

"When we talk about the sexism of murder ballads, 'Omie Wise' jumps to the forefront as one of the most prominent examples" - the Songs in the Key of Death podcast says announcing their latest episode, about the 19-century murder story. "Whether the true story involves a woman who was drowned because she became inconvenient or because she stood up to a no-good man, they both end the same way — with Naomi Wise dead, and many tales that got it wrong".

An interesting interview by the Music Journalism Insider with Courtney E. Smith, the host, writer, and co-executive producer of Songs in the Key of Death, a new podcast about murder ballads. What is it: "A historiography—it’s a storytelling podcast that examines the true crimes that inspired a murder ballad, the people who wrote the song or popularized it by singing it, and the historic times that both of those things happened in. It hopes to give listeners context around what was happening historically and when one of the most notable versions was performed. It also aims to explore how we’ve talked about these crimes in the past and what new information we have now that we should consider. Many of the songs don’t tell the real story or reflect the victim’s point of view. Giving them a voice and some life is a way to look again at a violent history".

ex-directory presents several new artists and audio-makers who are producing field recordings in order to tell stories, connect online communities and even distill entirely new, otherworldly sounds. Field Recordings is a podcast dedicated to (literally) “standing silently in fields”. There are over 240 episodes, including ASMR-like clatter of fisherman sorting clams on a Portuguese beachchirping froglets in New South Waleswaves crashing on the frozen shores of Lake Ontario and a dog dreaming in the Wirral. Sounds of The Forest is an interactive "sound map" platform with one-minute recordings from local woodland from all over the world. MycoLyco's producer connects synthesisers to giant oyster mushrooms and quartz crystals, then records their output, with sounds ranging from the gentle ambient bubbling of an amethyst playing a Eurorack to the erratic chatter of oyster mushrooms performing on a modular synth

Harlem Hellfighters

Jazz pianist Jason Moran talks to The United States of Anxiety about the life and work of James Reese Europe - American ragtime and early jazz bandleader, arranger, composer, and the leading figure on the African Americans music scene of New York City in the 1910s - and about Reese's role in the infamous 369th Infantry Regiment, also known as the Harlem Hellfighters, who crossed racial lines and brought jazz to Europe.

The twentieth century cast
June 02, 2021

A great history lesson: American folk music

#ACFM podcast shared a podcast about the history of American folk music. It looks at the communism of Woody Guthrie and the singers of the Dust Bowl era, the Vietnam protest music of Bob Dylan and the Greenwich Village scene, and the folk psychedelia of the Incredible String Band and Vashti Bunyan. The episode includes over 40 musical examples spanning a period of around 100 years.

1 2 3