Paradiso Labs in New York: innovation in the music industry


Paradiso Labs, as part of the Amsterdam Cultural Startup Bootcamp and Arts & Culture Trade Mission New York City from the city of Amsterdam, presented a program in the Made in NY Media Center on September 9th 2016. Notes from an inspiring session

We discussed recent innovations in the music industry. Quiet revolutions seem to be taking place by 'cutting out the middlemen'; smart, data oriented firms with new tools and instruments reach out to audiences to promote upcoming, as yet unknown artists. 

This was a conversation between music lovers with technical skills, not just techies and blinkers, in blissful absence of the traditional male dominance which has steered the music industry in the past.

Associate Director Digital Marketing of Kobalt Music Margaret Jacobi (@kobaltbluem) told us about AWAL's innovative services for artists. As a digital music distribution platform it truly cuts out the middlemen, combining services that we now no longer need to purchase from multiple companies, thus creating a better service for artists.

Co-founder of the tech studio for music industry Hydric Media Dave Lowry (@LLdavedave) explained how their tool combines intelligent data-analysis from Soundcloud listeners with information on music blogs. The result is a signalling service for audiences as well as upcoming artists.

Founder of the @jukely platform Bora Celik (@xbora) elaborated enthusiastically on how he managed to give an impressive boost to his subscription platform for music lovers by succesfully promoting new and upcoming artists in 16 cities - in the US as well as in Europe.

Business developer of Quello Concerts Michael Jon Samuels (@quelloconcerts) proved that it is indeed possible to create a "Netflix for the music industry" by building the Quello platform. Quello provides live streaming of concerts as well as on demand content. Samuels described how he managed to raise the number of subscribers to his platform and succeeded in contracting broadcasting rights from major record labels.

The connection with the @Startup_Adam network was made by the cofounder of @wearepublic subscription platform Leon Caren (@leoncaren). Here, the success lies in improving the way venues reach their audiences. Only just into their second year of existence, We Are Public generated the impressive number of 50.000 visits to Amsterdam cultural performances curated by their platform. It is estimated that about two thirds of those visits were new customers. It is no surprise that their service will be introduced in other Dutch cities. Who knows, one day they may conquer New York City as well.

Ticketing platform @eventbrite representative LJ Malberg (@zenfulldance) showed how flexible ticketing can be organised and improve support for artists and audiences, if the platform is built from a technological perspective. 


Even though there was a great atmosphere of changing the music industry on the spot, during this Paradiso Labs session, we did draw three more nuanced conclusions.

  • First, the data oriented approach is fundamental in the change of the music industry but cannot function properly without the input of human intuition to reflect the heart of the matter, the music.

  • Second, innovative parties in the music industry need to search for collaborations with other initiatives continuously in order to gain improvement. Therefore the need for a system of open innovation must be stressed; in such an environment, startups can constantly learn from others.

  • Third and last, male domination is a thing of the past: male and female contributions are both essential in creating further steps to rebuild the music industry.