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Prolific drummer, electronic artist, feminist activist and public speaker Kiran Gandhi (a.k.a. Madame Gandhi) joins this episode to exchange perspectives not just on how technological change has transformed artists' careers, but also on what artists themselves can do about it. We discuss, among other things, the potential reasons why artists are left out of the majority of conversations about the future of music-tech; the importance of artist-residency programs within music and tech startups (of which Kiran was previously a participant); the myth of the "gut-versus-data" binary; and how international consumption trends are changing the type of visual content artists need to create. At the end, we discuss the surge in new lyric-display features on social-media platforms, and how artists rely heavily on tech platforms to determine the constraints of their creativity — perhaps to a fault.
Patreon's SVP Product Wyatt Jenkins joins this episode to dive into the opportunities and challenges around growing membership models in the music industry. We unpack the financial and ideological roadblocks to making music a top-two category on Patreon, why it's so difficult to bake both discovery and membership mechanisms into the same product and how Patreon might compete with music distribution platforms and other music-oriented software services in the long run, with respect to providing alternative sources of capital to independent artists. At the end, we discuss whether paywalled podcast apps and the Jonas Brothers' vinyl "club" are overrated or underrated. NOTE: This episode was recorded in late June 2019, around a month before Patreon announced their $60 million Series D round, so we don't mention that funding here — but there's still lots to dig into around their future roadmap.