At a time when big record labels are hemorrhaging cash, Berlin’s nascent music technology start-ups have created a blueprint for what the music industry of the future could look like. Instead of viewing the internet and digital technology as threats, these companies are using it all to create “a new paradigm, a new construct in the way people use music,” says Mark Mulligan, a music industry analyst who helps oversee consumer-product strategy in the London office of Forrester Research, a leading global technology and market research company.
A Berlin-based online social network for musicians, it has accumulated 1.3m artists and record labels—including Kylie Minogue, Domino Records, Zero 7 and Snoop Dogg—since it launched in October 2008. “We now have hundreds of users from major record labels all over the world,” says Alexander Ljung, the company’s co-founder and CEO (pictured, above). SoundCloud enables file-sharing between users, and Ljung says that record labels are using it to distribute music to journalists.
Mulligan envisions platforms like SoundCloud playing an important role in the not too distant future, when music will be seamlessly distributed via iPhone apps and social-networking sites such as Facebook. Listeners will be able to create their own music mashups and share them with friends.
Ein lesenswerter Überblick über die Berliner Szene.
*Beziehungsweise von Intelligent Life, dem Lifestyle-und-Kultur-Quartalsmagazin des Economist.