Water & Music’s Cherie Hu says Web3 and AI will revolutionize creativity: The Agenda


Curiosity may need killed the cat, however for musicians, it’s usually the launchpad of creativity and innovation. 2023 noticed the fast development of OpenAI’s highly effective ChatGPT synthetic intelligence instrument, and applied sciences like Midjourney and Dall-E have supplied content material creators the power to actually grow to be a one-man band — or a one-person manufacturing studio.

Keeping tempo with the fast evolution of expertise and its affect on related industries generally is a problem for the typical busy particular person, and one of many objectives of Water & Music is to supply a extra research-backed strategy for music business professionals to examine, talk about and experiment with new applied sciences.

On Episode 19 of The Agenda podcast, hosts Ray Salmond and Jonathan DeYoung communicate with Cherie Hu, the founding father of Water & Music — “an independent newsletter and research community on a mission to make the music industry more innovative, cooperative, and transparent.”

Change is inevitable

When requested about what’s new within the music business, Hu acknowledged that “the old music business very much was driven by a small group of gatekeepers,” and she advised that the pandemic, new expertise and maybe even among the ideology that backs the Web3 motion would ultimately change this established order.

“The pandemic, I think, woke a lot of people up,” Hu mentioned. “I think it encouraged people to become a lot more proactive about speaking out about and advocating for changes that they wanted to see.” She added:

“A lot of the most critical, like deeply critical, conversations I’ve heard about streaming have come in the last three years just because, due to the pandemic, artists were put in a position where they had to essentially rely solely on digital sources of income to make ends meet without touring. And then they look at their streaming checks and are like, ‘This is this is nothing. I can’t live off of this.’ And so, there have been a lot more productive conversations around alternative models to monetizing music in a digital context. Web3, of course, has played a huge, huge role in this.”

Historically, breaking into the music business meant artists both wanted to know the precise individuals to get picked up or be capable to fund their endeavors in a means that created sufficient ripples to seize a wider viewers. Hu believes that throughout the conventional music business, “a lot of those mechanisms haven’t really changed for like the last 10, 20, even 30 years,” however she additionally acknowledges that new applied sciences have opened up new strategies for creators to fully circumvent the standard path to success.

Hu mentioned:

“The way that culture is moving, especially if you look at apps like TikTok and the impact that ecosystem has on music culture and what music, what songs get big, it just moves so quickly. The unfortunate part of the music industry is that the financing element has not caught up to it.”

According to Hu, Water & Music aspires to take a extra analytical strategy to how the music enterprise is evolving and being impacted by rising applied sciences.

“So when we think about the new music business, we definitely focus on new technologies that enable people to participate in the music industry. You know, whether it’s creating music, marketing music, building communities around it, monetizing it in totally new ways. We’re interested in that entire stack.”