MUBUTV: Insider Video Series | Season 1 Episode #9 Music Sociologist Kyle Bylin Pt.1


Ritch: We’re very happy to welcome Kyle Bylin. Kyle, thank you so much for coming in doing
this today, I really appreciate it. �I want to start by asking you with the
massive sea change that we’ve seen happen in the last decade, how would you describe
the landscape love music culture as it exists today? Kyle: The landscape of music as it exist today
is very different one. In the previous years, music culture sort
of existed as Hubs around the central locations, such as record stores, radio stations, and
venues and with the commercialization of the landscape through big box retail outlets. Kyle: A lot of the smaller more indie stores
sort of got them gobbled up into big box retail outlets and sort of consolidated the landscape. As well as with the Telecommunications Act
of 1995 you saw the increasing commercialization of radio stations as well where many of the
more independent organic radio stations got increasingly more swallowed up into the larger
hole. As we move forward with are emergence of the
Internet we saw the fracturing of that media landscape and the audience and this sort of
networks that existed around those ecosystems. Then spread out into the internet into very
specialized niches. Kyle: After we saw that emergence of online
community and fandom, created on the Internet, we’re now seeing the mobilization of fandom
through the smartphone revolution increasing the age of the connected car and rather than
social sort of institutions like radio and venues and stores being this hub of culture. People are now the portals of culture and
they themselves through their smartphones are able to mobilize fandom into the real
world. Ritch: In the sense of direct fan artist connection,
fan direct artist access? Kyle: Direct to fan artist connection as well
as connection to each other through these increasing mobile applications that allow
them to, for instance to very interesting concepts the landscape right now ryry .fm
and soundtracker. Ritch: Which are? Kyle: �Their geo social music applications
that allow you to listen to music and simultaneously broadcast that music to the larger community
and other people participating in those applications can then tap into your music streaming in
real-time and listen with you and have a chat and communicate about music you’re actually
hearing and this sort of represents a very different evolution of culture we’re going
from tuning in to radio stations to tapping into people and locations. Kyle: I think increasingly in the next 5-10
years what we’re going to have through geo based music data is that you�re going to
be able to see a map of the United States and the major music hubs �like Austin, Seattle,Minneapolis,
and New York. �You’ll be able to tap into those places
as radio stations on a map and experience the culture and the feel of the scene as actual
locations rather than genre and artist based stations that we traditionally have today. Ritch: But what I find interesting about what
you’re saying is now we’ve even tap into them. �Would you be able to interact with the
audience and that’s the huge distinction, and I remember you wrote about this in an
essay where you talked about one of the major aspects of shift in this relationship was
not only how fans could could communicate with artists, but how fans could now somehow
communicate with each other and that was a profound shift from the kind of relationship
we had before where it was one too many like one person, listening to the radio or many
listening to the one radio station, the top down world if you will. Kyle: And you know one company that’s making
interesting inroads in that is called jelly radio. Jelly radio is a social radio application
that allows fans to take control of traditional broadcast radio stations in real time and
vote songs up the cue and listen to them in real time with everyone else with this sort
of game dynamic. As well as chat functionality and what’s interesting
in this environment is you would think that the most hit songs would only get played more
fervently, but what happens when you sorta release music to the wisdom of the crowds
is that people do all sorts of interesting things. Kyle: They’ll say do an animal block. �Any song or artist the has an animal theme
is now voted up the tally in for an hour it’s all animal theme songs and sort of very interesting
organized chaos emerges out of these game environments. RItch: Interesting, I want to ask you about
something, its a shift that we have seen along with the technological revolutions. One of the things, and you’ve written about
this as well, one of the things that has occurred that has been an outcome of all this is that
we have a generation that has been raised to either believe or has come to believe that
music should be free and I’m just curious if you feel that we will ever be able to capture
in the future a sense of greater monetary value toward music rather than it being just
something that is totally free what’s your opinion on that? Kyle: Well I mean of course the traditional
thought processes, how we leverage new scarcities around music, that the internet has allowed
artist to now create value in rather than music being your soul product that you then
push into the market and market around and do tour support for. �What other experiences around that music
can you create that have a certain more intangible value than the tangible value of the CD. Ritch: Okay, talk about what those are. Kyle: �Well I mean services like Kickstarter
and pledgemusic have leveraged very interesting scenarios where in sort of a pre-order like
fashion you invest in the outcome of a CD. You really like the artist, they need money
to produce that CD and you put down a certain dollar amount towards it. And how those teres are leveraged, what they
hope to incorporate is to get a higher degree investment by creating new scarcities around
music that didn’t exist before. For instance, for fifteen dollars you get
the CD and the booklet. Where, for twenty-five dollars the CD a booklet
and a signed lithographing the lyrics and may be to 35 to 45 dollars there is the exclusive
skype performance of your favorite artists only for you and maybe thirty other people. � Kyle: So that’s a new scarcity that can still
be monetized and that still had a new form of value for many bands. Ritch: Okay, so is that the future for you? That�s where you feel the future is going
to monetizing the experience? Kyle: Well I mean experiences have always
been viewed as more valuable and psychology shows it, right? When you buy a physical object such as a new
laptop overtime humans habituate to that object and drive less and less satisfaction out of
it. �In very basic terms for the first week
it is the best computer ever but every week after that
its progressively a worse computer and you just sort of get used to the totality of this
computer is mine and it exists. But when you think of something in terms of
an experience whether you’re talking about concert or a special fan performance that
is an experience that a fan can relive and recall for a much longer time table and drive
more emotional connection and value from than a physical object alone. That’s why they say if you have the choice
of buying a thousand-dollar TV versus a thousand dollar vacation you should buy the vacation,
because in the long run that’s sort of investment would recoup a higher value of satisfaction
happiness than a TV ever can.