On Jan 22, YouTube Space LA in Los Angeles, CA hosted the fifth annual GRAMMY CONNECT – Where Music & Tech Collide.
This exclusive event was hosted by former MTV personality, Quddus and welcomed some select acclaimed pioneers of music curation: Eric Davich, CEO of Songza; Alex White, CEO of Next Big Sound; Whitney-Gayle Benta, Senior Vice President of Revolt TV; Scott Vener, music supervisor; and Evan Greene, Chief Marketing Officer of The Recording Academy.
The intertwining of music discovery and digital curation were the hot topics of the night. When surfacing new music to fans, the industry has it pinned down to two methods: humans and algorithms.
Eric Davlch, co-founder of Songza, elaborated on the music curation process while explaining how Songza delivers playlists designed to suit specific activities such as waking up, working out or driving at a particular time of day and so on.
The playlists are developed by a network of 50 music experts, Davlch said. Predicting which playlists its listeners might want to hear throughout their day is based on algorithms.
Alex White, Next Big Sound, explained to the audience how the New York data company uses correlation analysis of social and sales trends to predict which artists will break.
Scott Vener, music supervisor and Musaic, placed tracks in major television shows such as HBO’s “Entourage,” talked about using his instincts to find music he likes and blogging about it on Tumblr.
Venerâ€™s blog, BrokeMogul, started as a way of keeping his friends informed on new music heâ€™s stumbled upon or likes.
“I was too lazy to make CDs for people, so I started my blog,” said Vener. BrokeMogul, which now gets about 50,000 hits a day, over the years has become a tastemaker’s guide to music.
Whitney-Gayle Benta, Senior Vice President of Revolt TV and former MTVâ€™er spoke similarly about using her gut instincts to identify new talent and of being open minded when on the path of discovering new music. Benta told the audience how she at first didnâ€™t really take a liking to the godly Lady Gaga herself. Look at her now. Moral of it, alway keep an open mind and open heart to new music.
“I challenge all of you to reach out to five friends and ask them for names of records you’ve never heard of and start your own journey to music curation” – Benta.