Digital Payola, a Fresh Newsletter just Dropped, Sound as Brand Aesthetic

*|MC:SUBJECT|*
RIP Prodigy.
As half of Mobb Deep, he changed hip-hop forever.

MUSIC & INDUSTRY


It makes sense for technology to pair music and a social experience. Why has Spotify let some of its social features atrophy, when the case for social + streaming is so strong? Perhaps the answer lies in power dynamics of playlist curation. The most popular playlists are controlled by three big companies (owned by major labels) and Spotify itself. Playlist inclusion can make or break a song, and already there's reported chicanery going on behind the scenes. The result is Spotify's new "Sponsored Songs" feature, which is exactly what it sounds like.

BRANDS & BANDS


The "drop," an unannounced but much-hyped limited product release, has long proven successful by hip-hop artists and sneaker brands. That success is spreading through the rest of the retail and fashion world, driven by familiar psychology. The scarcity rewards participation and inclusion, and the "drops" become events that telegraph FOMO via social media; hence the immense popularity among Gen-Z'ers. 

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS


As brands increasingly turn to music for advertising, experts are exploring a new tool to influence behavior: sound design. The easiest place to imagine this is in brick and mortar retail - brands are already hyper-vigilant about their visual and service aesthetic, so it's a wonder that audio aesthetic isn't part of the mix. Given the emotional power of music, expect this to change.

EVERYTHING ELSE


LISTEN


Queens Of The Stone Age
The Way You Used To Do
New York Public Library
Jelani Cobb

LOOK


Mobb Deep
Shook Ones
Yayoi Kumasa

WEEKEND PLAYLIST

FACTORY FLOOR


Where's Snuffy? It's bring your dog to work day.
We demand Snuffy.

FRIDAY GIF


See ya next week...