Friday 30 September 2016

Your favourite artist x you

Niall Byrne

Published 25/01/2013 | 18:00

Has the music industry ever felt more up in the air than it is now? It's very likely that HMV won't exist in its current form on the high street whoever takes over its stores. With the emergence of Spotify and Deezer in the digital streaming space and YouTube and Soundcloud becoming even more essential, the musical landscape for those who make it and love it looks more fractured than ever.

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This is a transitory phase for everyone. In Scandanavia, where music streaming took off first, signs are good for digital, with Norway and Sweden respectively posting a 7pc and 13.8pc increase of music sales, largely attributed to digital outselling physical. The rest of us are heading that way, most likely.

Still, it's not an easy time for anyone who makes a living from music. This might help explain why a major artist "collaborating" with a brand is no longer met with such derision.

The Swedish dance producer Avicii has teamed up with Ericsson for what they're billing "a worldwide collaboration" to create a crowd-sourced hit song called Avicii x You ( He's not the first.

Maroon 5 teamed up with Coca Cola to make a track informed by fan suggestions. Imogen Heap released a crowd-sourced song in 2011 featuring creative and musical input from fans. Even dance peer Deadmau5 did it last year via a video stream with a guy who sent him vocals on Twitter.

The nature of Avicii's music (primarily virally spread through YouTube and Soundcloud) and his huge audience (he played The O2 last year) means that his calls for basslines, vocals and melodies from his fans could actually mean a huge hit for him (while participants will be given only a credit).

In fairness to Avicii, he's not walking away with a huge income as he's donating profits to his own hunger charity House For Hunger.

No doubt Ericsson are paying him big bucks for the partnership, however.

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