Sometimes you find yourself unexpectedly at places where you never imagined yourself to be. But it feels right. It is exactly where you need to be. Right now.

This happened to me last Tuesday when classmate Niels Weggeman asked me to join to start-up bar SUP46 in Östermalm. Initially I had no idea what I could expect. On the way I found out that STHLM Music City organized an event for start-ups in music technology. For a music passionate like me, the exact right place to first speaker was a woman Eva from Spotify. How to market music using the user’s listening behavior data? With over 100 million active Spotify users there is a lot of data to analyse and use to better understand the listener: your customer. Music from the Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark) is increasingly popular around the world. Eva guided us through a story how relatively unknown artists can score enormous hits by analyzing the data, adding the song to popular playlists and coordinate releases with major record labels. The Swede Mikael Persson aka Mike Perry is the living example with his hit ‘Ocean’: his only release on Spotify has over 260 million plays in half year. SHLMN Music City sketched the future of the music industry as more decentralized, where the role of publishers, music labels and agencies will shift towards a more supportive role around the artist.

Hereafter I have seen several presentations of breakthrough technology and ideas for music technology. Slush is a non-profit organization that organizes a large tech conference firstly in Helsinki, followed by editions in Tokyo, Beijing and Singapore. What do they do differently? They combine the entertainment of a music festival: loud music, lasers and pyro shows with the interesting technology from a tech fair. Big players as Google and Tesla have found their way to the event.

The Pacemaker app developers came with a new idea of creating mixtapes. Where they previously developed an iPad app for DJs to live mix music using Spotify they now bring an app to iPhone and Apple Watch for the big audience. Instead of making playlists for yourself, you can now create personalized mixtapes to share with your friends. You choose the songs; the app mixes them for you automatically. In addition you can personalize your mix by changing the transitions or adding effects such as hi-lo pass filters, white noise and reverb.

Finally, I want to highlight the impact of going out of your comfort zone. Going to places where you have never been before makes you meet people you have never met before. This can result in you having new ideas, which you otherwise not have been able to come up with. Never let go of an opportunity to find out new things. Follow your curiosity.

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