Lean In: A Musical Experience

April 30, 2015admin

Wonder why Miami has seemed a tad spicier lately? That’s probably because the Billboard Latin Music Conference has set up shop on South Beach with its revolving Awards at the Bank United Center happening tonight, bringing the world’s biggest and brightest names in Latin music to our little star of a city.

Among the slew of innovative and unique panels, discussions, and live performances, the Conference held quite the eye-opening get together with Spotify and Pandora Tuesday, featuring Raquel Sofia as the artist in residence. Let’s take a look back at Discovery, Promotion, Revenue: A Conversation with Spotify and Pandora.

The Ritz-Carlton on South Beach came alive on Tuesday as Amaya Mendizabal, Latin Charts Manager for Billboard moderated panelists: Marcos Juárez, Latin Music Curator & Programmer, Pandora; Valerie Miranda, Label relations, Spotify; and Raquel Sofia. The latter who just charted in the top 100 of Spain, Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico, becoming the 2015 success story for Spotify.

The topic of discussion revolved around the fork in the road of how we take in and discover music. First, there’s the “Lean Back” approach, particularly mastered by Pandora where playlists are carefully selected to suit your tastes. Basically, you can lean back and enjoy new tunes without ever having to do work.

The second approach is a bit more interactive. Spotify’s “Lean In” way of doing things pushes listeners to be the curators of their own moods and moments by creating playlists, interacting with favorite artists, and keeping tabs on what their friends are listening to. A bit more work, but higher reward (in our opinion). So in the world of streaming platforms, either you entrust someone to curate your mood for you, or you’re given the incentive to curate your own moments musically.

Pandora, on one hand, has developed specific algorithms that propel music streaming into the world of artist and marketing platforms. They leverage all of the data they’ve collected through distinct demographics and click rates that help boost awareness for things like tour dates and chosen cities, the development of an artist’s sound, and even flyer designs. And that’s not even through advertising.

Then there’s Spotify. This is a world where moments are turned into musical real estate. From a collection of artists that inspired Mana’s latest album, to art exhibits in Mexico city that are paired with the sounds that inspired the pieces, and even a playlist curated by the Mexican National soccer team that was inspired by their game-winning goal.

So where does that put Raquel Sofia? She is the first ever Sony digital artist, being highlighted primarily on the Spotify homepage, curated playlists, and of course their advertising. That means, her music is only available digitally with a single and video being released monthly, plus a reality show in the works, “Porque Si”. Through the interactive platform of Spotify, she and other artists are able to physically see more user responses.

Streaming has seen immense growth within the past year alone, particularly the Hot Latin Songs Chart division. In case you didn’t know, streaming now accounts for over 40% of charting tracks and albums. All in all, it comes down to how you prefer to experience your music, both old and new. Either way, you’re still listening to music…which is mighty fine with us.