In the music industry as of the last decade or so, emerging internet and digital technology has created an almost paradoxical situation for artists. Sites like youtube, Spotify, Pandora, and countless others are providing a fair and equitable way for new artists to allow their music to be heard by almost anyone around the world. Music production technology has allowed the “average joe” to produce high quality mixes in their bedroom. So you would think that all those young and very talented artists and musicians would finally be able to make a success for themselves in the industry? Actually its far from the truth. Because of this access to new distribution channels and production technology, the market has become severely flooded with budding musicians and artists all trying to make a name for themselves. There are thousands upon thousands of musicians with new music posted on soundcloud, music blogs, Spotify, and the like every day, and although it is technically available to be listened to, it is getting harder and harder to push through the crowd to be noticed, talent or no talent. Not only this, but the major record labels are signing less talent every year. Last year, for example, Atlantic only signed 2 new acts. This is devastating to new musicians aspiring to be stars, because the major labels still own access to the top charts. They have the money, marketing teams, distribution network, and relationships to successfully break through the clutter, and push their artists to the top.
This is why companies like Tradiio are so exiting.
Tradiio is a very innovative company opening up the doors to many interesting opportunities. They are basically a virtual stock market for emerging artists. In the app, users are given an initial amount of coins for free, and from there they prudently “invest” these coins in artists and musicians on the app that they believe should be more recognized. They now own “stock” in the artist and if the artist gets pushed up to the top of the app list via other investors, you can cash out your higher value stock for unique rewards and prizes like VIP access to shows, and special merchandising from your artist. Although this just seems like nothing more than a fun game for consumers to play, it is actually a major step toward more equitable exposure in the music industry for emerging artists. Tradiio creates a well organized platform for the common people (who are the end consumers for music) to act as A&R for a record labels, and aligns incentives so that there is a reason for them to work hard to do it.
It is long been observed in the social sciences that the collective knowledge of the masses is greater than that of a few expert individuals. The phenomenon is called the “wisdom of the crowds”, and applies to Tradiio’s model. With many participants each putting in their own “two cents”, collectively they will be more accurate at choosing the best talent in the marketplace than any of the individual A&R scouts. Making music discovery a way to make money might be the best way to give musicians the chance to actually be heard. For now, the company uses only virtual coins, but their goal is eventually to use real money, (after legal issues are sorted out) and it will be very exciting to see how it plays out when they do.