Before today's Gold, I have a few things I want to touch on. The first is to reiterate the purpose of The Gold List.
While the links themselves are interesting, entertaining, and make you look like you're ahead of the curve, what I'm really after is digging underneath these ideas and brands.
Because underneath, there is so much more happening.
Why is it that certain ideas take off and hit the zeitgeist? Are their fundamental qualities behind these ideas that are driving their success? What waves are building underneath the surface? What patterns or qualities are driving a brand or products success?
What I'm really after with these Gold posts is to help you see better.
The Gold List is meant to help you spot the cultural shifts and trends driving successful brands, so that you can adopt a posture and perspective to apply to your own respective fields.
Now, for today's Gold.
It's the age of Spotify. Game over.
And with a new interface guiding our music experience, our habits change in numerous ways.
1. Turn up the sharing.
We all learned about Spotify through Facebook. Hard to remember now, but the brand's play for sharing using Facebook's audience was brilliant. Estimates put it at 9Million new users in 5 months through their Facebook sharing and free tier. They took advantage of the age old tradition of sharing your tunes with the simplicity of syncing what you were listening to.
Sharing is turning up. But personalization is too, so yeah, you might want to hear about a new tune from a friend but also you've got 30 tracks you dig that they've never heard of, too. Everyone is a curation master thanks to the algorithm. More sharing but less caring.
2. Playlists Rule.
I don't know about you, but to me an album today is really just a playlist. Everything is a playlist. Because everything is about putting you into a particular mood.
Every day I skim through playlists and bounce around. This puts less emphasis on an individual artist. And I believe it's part of the reason albums are becoming giant collaborations
Take one look at DJ Khaled's latest release.
3. Musicians become faceless. When you put on your playlist for the day, you might be nodding your head to the beat for hours but could you realistically list out the names of the people you just listened to?
If you saw half of the people on your Spotify Discover playlist in the Subway today would you recognize them?
If you're using Alexa synched with your Spotify, do you really know who's voice is coming through the speaker?
You just care what mood the music is creating in the room.
Musicians today are brands, no doubt. They have more distribution opportunities than ever. The ones that hit ARE known. But the competition is fierce and everyone else is just a click away.
But I think this is going to change.
Expect more video. Music videos like Kendrick Lamar's success with DAMN (Practically mini short films in their own right) and videos from artists on Spotify and elsewhere.
Which brings me to today's gold:
Colors puts the faces directly back in the picture by stripping their presentation down to them, in a room, with a microphone.
I found myself saying "oh, that's Khalid." And that's part of the appeal..
A few things to note about colors:
1. Ask yourself this - how quickly did you understand the concept? How easily could you tell someone about it?
2. Stripped down, simple, easy to get and easy to share. ONE track, not many like NPR's Tiny Desk concerts, which are equally great but potentially less shareable in today's world.
3. I appreciate the art direction and styling with the wardrobe. It's the small details like the lightening and fashion choices...
My favorites are Maségo, Benny Mails, and Khalid.
Have a great day,