Music Fans Made The Internet

"Still Can’t Believe It Worked"
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MUSIC & INDUSTRY


Music fans built the internet. Quite literally, it was Deadheads in the Bay Area that were the first non-academic adopters of the proto-internet, using the new technology to support an already sophisticated fan network. From there, says Nancy Baym in a new history of musicians and audiences, it was music, or rather, the transformation of fandom that accelerated mass adoption of the web. And the power of that fandom is vast. Last month, one of Nicki Minaj's fans posted a rather innocuous critique of her new single on Twitter. Then, things got weird. Minaj superfans went after her. Then Minaj herself went after her, which really got her superfans going. The details of the story are insane. So, yes, music fandom is indeed a strong cultural current.

BRANDS & BANDS


Whenever there's a music plagiarism dustup, it's a good opportunity to talk about brands and agencies using sound-a-likes for syncs. Here are a few best practices for marketers who want to draw inspiration without plagiarizing. The key point is to manage your expectations. If you can't afford *that* track, then you can't afford it. The music should reflect well on the brand, and a plagiarism lawsuit doesn't reflect well on anyone.

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS


X, Google's research and development arm, is a modern-day Bell Labs. It's a moonshot factory. It's where engineers developed and spun off Waymo, the self-driving subsidiary, and Verily, a glucose monitoring contact lens company, among others. The latest graduates are Project Loon and Wing. Loon aims to bring mass internet access via high-altitude balloons, and Wing replaces delivery trucks with drones. Projects on the shelf include an invisibility cloak. Take a look inside.

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