Water & Music

Water & Music

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The fine print of big ideas in music and technology, hosted by journalist Cherie Hu and featuring a curated selection of young leaders, thinkers and innovators from across the music business.


8 (ft. Eugene Kan + Charis Poon): The case for greater creative and algorithmic accountability in the music industry
Jun 25 • 75 min
MAEKAN’s Eugene Kan and Charis Poon join this episode to discuss the key ideas in their essay “The Modern Creator’s Paradigm,” which argues that continuing cultural innovation will require greater creative and critical accountability from artists,…
7 (ft. Ben Gross + Laura Kinniburgh): How lyrics are a leading indicator of innovation in music licensing
May 28 • 56 min
Genius’ Chief Strategy Officer Ben Gross and Head of Music Licensing Laura Ostler Kinniburgh join this episode to discuss the challenges and opportunities in valuing and monetizing lyrics properly in the modern music industry. We break down how technology…
6 (ft. Alex Bonavia): Artists are now launching pads for songs, not the other way around
May 2 • 58 min
WAVO’s Head of Business Development Alex Bonavia joins this episode to discuss the new marketing paradigm in the music industry that treats artists as de facto brands and media properties, independent of any song or album cycles. What are the implications…
5 (ft. Kero One): The lowdown on lo-fi hip-hop’s past, present and future
Apr 20 • 55 min
DJ-rapper-producer Kero One joins this episode to break down the past, present and future of lo-fi hip-hop—from the perspective of an artist who has been making music for almost two decades, but became associated with the “lo-fi” scene only recently after…
4 (ft. Amber Horsburgh): Why marketing music to strangers, not to existing fans, is more profitable
Apr 1 • 52 min
Music-marketing consultant Amber Horsburgh joins this episode to discuss why marketing music to strangers—i.e. to people who don’t know who you are yet—is more profitable than catering only to existing fans. What are the limitations of Kevin Kelly’s…
3 (ft. Mike Warner): Playlists are here to stay, but you shouldn’t pay to get on them
Mar 22 • 53 min
Streaming expert Mike Warner joins this episode to set the record straight on what playlists really can, and cannot, do for artists’ careers. How does one build a playlist strategy that optimizes for fandom? What does it mean to be “ready” for a placement…
2 (ft. Dan Runcie): How hip-hop and venture capital are blueprints for each other’s futures
Mar 11 • 64 min
Trapital founder Dan Runcie joins this episode to discuss the wide variety of shared opportunities—and problems—between hip-hop and venture capital. What are the similarities in how independent musicians and tech founders navigate their respective funding…
1 (ft. David Turner): Pop music was never “behind” on streaming—and Ariana Grande is proof
Feb 25 • 61 min
Fellow music writer David Turner joins the inaugural episode of the Water & Music podcast! We unpack Ariana Grande’s record-breaking, rapid-fire release strategy, debunk the stereotype of pop music as “lagging behind” in the streaming era, debate the…