Web Summit 2023 Daily Recap: hip-hop, music streaming and the superfans
Portugal – On 16 November 2023, the third and final day of the world’s largest tech conference turned the volume up with panels addressing the future of the music industry and what it means for brands and advertisers.
In a panel entitled Bronx to Billions: 50 years of Hip Hop Branding, Simone Berry, the co-founder and CEO of POClab and self-defined ‘chief metaverse baddie’, highlighted how it took decades for hip-hop to receive validation, turn into a global lifestyle and a money-making industry. ‘They loved the culture, but they did not love the creators. It was always ghetto until proven fabulous,’ she said.
Berry added that ‘culture’ is the number one word used in marketing and branding in the US. ‘But who is creating culture?’ she wondered. ‘Black women are. And they are also powering commerce. They drive £1.2 trillion ($1.5 trillion, €1.4 trillion) of spending power (source: Nielsen). ‘That’s more than Spain or The Netherlands,’ she added. ‘We are early adopters and trend-spotters. There is also a cool factor. We influence all communities, not just the ones of colour.’
Music was on everyone’s mind with a series of talks on everything from music production in the metaverse to licensing and the business of podcasts. Eliah Seton, the CEO of SoundCloud, suggested that the next step for the music industry is not just concerts, but rather re-uniting artists with their superfans. ‘Streaming is killing the superfans. And they are an old notion in music.’ That’s why the company introduced Fan-powered Royalties in 2021, which distributes listeners’ subscription and advertising revenue among the artists they listen to.
Seton said: ‘It’s more transparent and artists get paid more. This allowed us to identify superfans, and we gave the artists the ability to directly message them, monetise that relationship and roll out new products for them.’
Keep an eye on our Technology sector page to read our upcoming analysis of Web Summit Lisbon 2023.
Find inspiration in SoundCloud’s investment and commitment to the superfans. How can you identify your most loyal and engaged customers and monetise this relationship better by unlocking exclusive access to perks or even a direct line of communication with your team?
What’s new on LS:N Global in Q4?
London – This quarter marked The Future Laboratory’s launch of an enhanced website experience for LS:N Global members. Over the coming months, you’ll continue to see more improvements as LS:N Global evolves into your essential futures channel.
The new Behaviours tab is your go-to for demographic research, collating everything you need to face future customers with confidence: the latest ethnographic research, generational insights and consumer-related stats.
Plus, this quarter our analysts have been reporting directly from leading global events such as SXSW Sydney and Dutch Design Week. Among the new members-only reports is our latest macrotrend, Home States Futures: Residential Retail.
‘We understand how our clients must stay connected and up to date – wherever they are in the world – so our insight and analysis direct from leading global events offers both fresh perspectives and validation for members,’ says Fiona Harkin, director of foresight.
Foresight Friday: Simar Deol, foresight analyst
Every Friday, we offer an end-of-week wrap-up of the topics, issues, ideas and virals we’re all talking about. This week, foresight analyst Simar Deol dives into the upcoming spectacle of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, fast-fashion getting the Vestiaire boot and bathing in a bitcoin-heated pool.
: The Las Vegas Grand Prix, announced as ‘the greatest show on Earth’, according to F1, required an unprecedented £402m ($500m, €460m) investment from the sporting giant. It is also billed as the biggest pop culture event in sporting history. For viewers attending in person at the Vegas Strip, located right next to the unmissable Sphere, the event will show what attracts the audience’s eyeballs – sport versus spectacle.
: Luxury pre-loved fashion platform Vestiaire Collective is tightening its restrictions by blocking 30 brands, including Gap, H&M and Zara. This move, in addition to the previous ban on Boohoo and similar fast-fashion brands, aligns with a broader trend among second-hand companies to elevate their positioning, emphasise eco-conscious practices and take steps to align with shifting consumer values.
: Talking about the environment, there has been a debate since the inception of bitcoin about its negative environmental impact. Well, bitcoin bros can now rejoice because Brooklyn’s Bathhouse (a very trendy spa) is mining bitcoin to warm its baths. Although I don’t believe this is an energy-neutral alternative, it is an original and creative sustainability solution amid the ongoing energy crisis.
Quote of the week
‘Maybe it’s a risk, maybe it’s not a good business decision. That’s not how we’re deciding it. The purpose is to say, if we don’t believe in this model and if we continue to sell it, we are not true to our values’
Dounia Wone, chief impact officer, Vestiaire Collective
Stat: US students are turning their backs on dating apps
US – Dating apps are losing traction among young Americans. Nearly eight in 10 students say they don’t use any dating apps, even as infrequently as once a month, according to a poll from Axios and Generation Lab.
The survey, conducted in October 2023, gathered data on dating habits from a sample of 978 college and graduate students in the US. Students have historically been a target demographic for dating apps, and campuses a prime location for promotional events. But the tides are turning, and dating platforms need to be creative to court young people again. The survey found that an overwhelming majority of young people on campuses prefer to meet people in person rather than online. In addition, more than half of respondents have met their current or previous partner in person, compared with only 15% on a dating app.
Beyond the student demographic, there is widespread fatigue about online socialising. Businesses need to acknowledge that shift when planning events, and cater for the growing appetite for real-life connections