Spotify // Culture Next

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Band of Others: The world is more diverse, cross-cultural, and migratory than ever, and young people are responding by forming communities that span the globe. Made up of renegade tribes who celebrate the same micro-cultures, fringe fashions, and social causes, these groups are forging bonds beyond social media to incite change and push the boundaries of belonging. And while these modern-day pirates may sound like misfits or hipsters, taken together, they’ve reached critical mass and are more the norm than the anomaly. Unanchored from roots and rules, they are drafting their own cultural manifestos.

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It’s time we wake up. Take notice. Listen to those who are crying out. Whether you see it or not, a cultural change is happening.

Spotify recognizes the movement. They notice it so much so they have invested into understanding Gen Zs and millennials and their impact on every aspect of culture. In a time where technology is constantly on the rise, the excitement is now being met with a healthy dose of skepticism. Spotify has acknowledged that Gen Zs and millennials are “in the midst of a major wake-up call.” The nature of technology and relationships with digital media are changing and transforming, and we are here for it all. In fact, we heard from them first hand while shooting the Spotify for Brands : Culture Next event at The Neu Neu last week. We walked away fired up and ready to listen.

Want to know more about what Spotify has to say? We highly recommend checking out their Culture Next report. you won’t regret it.

Culture Next: The Trends Defining Gen Zs and Millennials

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Streaming has returned the music industry to growth. And Spotify is the largest music-streaming service in the world. Spotify has 191 million active users worldwide, and it has grown its user base by a 33% compound annual growth rate over the past three years.

Spotify was able to make streaming nearly instantaneous by building an end-to-end delivery network – from server to client. Spotify launched in the U.S. in July 2011, and the popularity of music streaming has grown relentlessly since then. Streaming accounted for 9% of total U.S. music revenues that year. In 2014, that figure had reached 27%. In the first half of 2018, streaming accounted for 75% of U.S. music industry revenues.

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Cassettes, vinyl and compact discs have given way to streaming online music. The album is becoming an anachronism. And that means record labels are playing less and less of a role. Overall, this works out well for the artists. Artists are now able to release songs directly to the public, without facing the same hurdles bands like the Wu-Tang Clan faced back in the '90s. The short story of Wu-Tang is that they scrounged together $300 to cut a few songs, which was how the song “Protect Ya Neck,” later took the country by storm. As the gods would have it, magic does happen, you can’t keep your foot on the neck of greatness forever, a couple late-night DJs in New York – DJ Stretch Armstrong and host Bobbito Garcia of Columbia University's WKCR radio station carved out a niche playing records from unsigned, unknown rappers. "I just created this network that was independent of the record labels," Armstrong said in a 2015 interview for the documentary ,Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives, "getting demos and remixes from producers to feed the show new music you couldn't hear anywhere." Basically, they were the human Spotify genius before the tech and algorithms took over. It’s a good metaphor for life, if you ever find the human version of any tech or algorithm, someone who just has the good flow, a quality eye, dynamic feel for greatness... keep them close! And tell us about them because great Flow is everything!

From there, "Protect Ya Neck" became a local sensation. "Club DJs, promotions people, and music writers all thought it was the hottest thing out," Kelley wrote. And then came Wu-Tang's final big break... New York's famed Hot 97 radio station picked up the single.

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The music industry is evolving. One company is at the center of this transformation. It just went public earlier this year. But most investors have yet to understand its attractive business model. “I’ve learned that if I love something, a platform (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat), a car (Tesla), a hardware (Roku), or a currency (Bitcoin) that they tend to take off and be wildly popular in the world,” said the owner of Flow Event Group, Rick Gmitro. ;)

You see, it's becoming much easier for fans to discover talented upstarts. The next Wu-Tang or Led Zeppelin or Adele or Yam Haus is out there. And the chances are better than ever that listeners will find them, turn them into superstars, and compensate them for their work.

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We at Flow, love Spotify, all of our DJs need to be premium members. As it turns out, they will now be our musical best friend, our music god if you will! We love having a new god as a best friend.

The central paradox for fans is that access gives you everything – but everything isn't enough. Discovery is hard without a compass. Unprecedented choice at an affordable price must come with effective personalization to help audiences navigate a sea of content and to help artists directly reach a sea of listeners.

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Company: Spotify // Venue: The Neu Neu // Event Production: Mas Event Design // Lighting + Stage: Avex // Catering: Common Roots // Performance: Yam Haus // Photography: Flow Event Group

Contributing Writers: Stansberry Research //Rick Gmitro (Destination Photographer, Video Producer, DJ) // Culture Next, Global Trends Report, Spotify