Soundcloud Nine

The story of 'Mo Bamba,' or how a Soundcloud hit is made.


Spotify is testing the patience of the big three record labels. Over the past year, the streaming giant has quietly signed direct licensing deals with a handful of small independent artists. The deals are modest compared to major label deals, but are non-exclusive and artist friendly, with artists receiving higher royalty rates and retaining ownership. It's no wonder the labels don't like this. It's also why the labels explicitly prohibit Spotify from performing label-like activities in their distribution deals with the platform. Those deals need to be renewed next year. This will be a major point of contention.


For the 30th anniversary of 'Just Do It,' Nike debuted a partnership with Colin Kaepernick. And because this is 2018, people got fired up. Quite literally, actually, as inflamed customers poured lighter fluid on their shoes and set them aflame on social media. Others articulated passionate support for the brand. Others (hilariously) mocked the those who were burning their sneakers. Some questioned the brand's devotion to Kap's struggle as it continues its longstanding partnership with the NFL. Nike's devotion is to selling shoes. Then why do a partnership that may cost them customers? A new survey out ranks the 100 most loved brands by millennials - the most important demo for brands. Coming in at #1? Nike.


In an expansive cover story in the Atlantic, Yuval Hariri ponders the consequences of artificial intelligence on the future of work, prosperity, freedom, and life. Admittedly, too expansive to cover here. So let's look at something more tangible: an AI-written pop song. It's a frightening prospect. Will artists one day be rendered obsolete by catchier machine-generated tunes? It's also thrilling. Existing AI technology today provides a collaborative tool that sparks creativity and accessibility to music-making. Not convinced? Spend a half hour playing around on Amper this afternoon.



Paul McCartney
Happy With You
WTF w/ Marc Maron
Paul McCartney


Childish Gambino
Feels Like Summer
Fred W. McDarrah



That's a wrap!


See ya next week...
This WeekMatt Pennington