EXRON MUSIC’S TOP INDUSTRY INNOVATORS OF 2020 – [READ]
Exron Music Staff — 2 years ago
In an unexpected pandemic, some music industry professionals turned their dire situations into hopeful futures while pivoting to revolutionize the way we consume music. This list compiles some of the biggest storylines of industry professionals and artists alike during an economic downturn.
DAYNA FRANK (OWNER + CEO OF FIRST AVENUE PRODUCTIONS AND BOARD PRESIDENT OF NIVA)
Frank helped form The National Independent Venue Alliance and played a pivotal role in passing The Save Our Stages Act, which was included in the latest federal stimulus package and provides $15B for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions with a focus on small-medium sized theaters. She helped unify industry professionals and artists to save independent music venues. This culminated in the #SOSFest, where globally-recognized artists live streamed concerts from theaters across the country.
TRACY CHAN (HEAD OF MUSIC – TWITCH)
After working for YouTube and selling his livestream startup to Spotify, Chan grew Twitch from a gaming-centric streaming platform to a life-saving revenue stream and welcoming home to an artist’s community. On the flip side of the touring industry’s implosion, he was able to connect artists to a worldwide audience from the comfort of their own living rooms. With Chan at the helm, Twitch inked exclusive streaming partnerships with Bob Moses, Monte Booker, T-Pain, Rolling Loud, Alex Tumay, and more.
PASQUALE ROTELLA (CEO & FOUNDER – INSOMNIAC)
When others look for government bailouts, Pasquale stepped in with the help of Insomniac’s parent company, Live Nation, to purchase Club Glow, which holds two Washington D.C. venues – Echostage and Soundcheck. Insomniac successfully adapted to COVID safety protocols with their Live at the Drive-In Series at NOS Event Center and 24/7 Insomniac Twitch Channel. Pasquale frequently hosted themed weekend virtual festivals that serve as promotion for his flagship events.
ADAM ARRIGO (CEO WAVE)
Backed by Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, Scooter Braun, and J Balvin, Adam Arrigo’s Wave is the most interactive way to consume music in VR. After spending 6 years working on Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and Dance Central, Arrigo dove into immersive experiences. Even through COVID, he was able to pivot into animated, livestream shows — including The Weeknd on TikTok. Wave’s latest show with Alison Wonderland is their first foray into ticketed, virtual events.
In an effort to curb third-party monetization, RAC released his own cryptocurrency, $RAC, via Ethereum blockchain. Back in 2017, Gramatik produced his own cyptocurrency and raised nearly $30m in two weeks. RAC has always been carving his own lane and one step ahead of the game. This time, he has been auctioning off audio-visual loops, Non-fungible tokens (NFT), available for purchase with cryptocurrency on Superrare. With only a handful of projects, RAC collaborated with visual artist Reisinger Andrés and made $10k+ per piece.
From livestreaming to the Cyclops Army, to performing at drive-ins and unveiling his own label; Subtronics has been extremely active over quarantine. His quickly garnered attention from fans and industry professionals alike. Expect a national headline tour as soon as we reopen. If we’re lucky, we’ll see Level Up on an opening slot.
With their latest release, “Tiffany EP” by Ranger Trucco, Space Yacht leaves 2020 on a positive note. Throughout quarantine, LondonBridge and Henry Lu’s production company continues to excel in merchandising and artist discovery. In fact, they stream”Tune Reactor” weekly on twitch, where they react live to submissions from DJs across the globe. As always, their events impress with a handful of livestreams and open-air events hosted in California this year.
Consistency can grow a fanbase. All of these labels enacted their own streaming schedule — complete with different programming depending on the day/hours. In addition, the regularly streaming provides a platform for emerging artists, strengthens the labels’ brand, and excites the audience for the opportunity to attend a live event.
Sofi Tukker have taken it to another level. The house duo streamed daily and has organically grown their ever-expanding fanbase despite the circumstances of 2020. According to Pollstar, Sofi Tukker grew their average viewership by 50k within 3 months. Catch them every day from 10-10:30AM PST on Twitch!
In the 12 days leading up the Christmas Eve, Grizmas raised over $100k for inner-city Detroit youth. Now, underprivileged children will have access to musical instruments, education and coding lessons. Thank you, Griz for providing a feel-good story to wrap of the year.
We are looking forward to seeing what these industry leaders have in store for 20211