The following op/ed comes from Inder Phull (pictured), CEO and co-founder of PIXELYNX, a gaming and music metaverse company. PIXELYNX was also co-founded by Richie Hawtin, Joel Zimmerman aka deadmau5, along with music and gaming industry veterans Ben Turner and Dean Wilson. In December 2021, PIXELYNX announced it had raised $4.5 million dollars in seed investment.
The last couple of years have seen an incredible amount of innovation within the music industry, both on a business and creative level.
NFTs, virtual concerts, derivative works, the rise of companies selling sound packs and beats, AI music, etc… All of it signals a coming revolution that’s going to transform the way music is created and experienced.
All of this activity will eventually unlock new formats that will rise to the top and become standardized.
Think about MTV. Prior to MTV, artists and record labels had been making music videos, but the launch of a national music video network really nurtured that creative visual extension of music which eventually became a standard format that artists use to express themselves.
We haven’t really seen anything like that since then in our business.
Kanye West’s release of his last album on his Stem Player could be considered the early stages of a new format, where music is not released as a single, linear thing anymore – it’s an interactive, customizable, personalized experience.
Another example would be Bronze, where artists are leveraging AI technology and NFTs to release dynamic music.
For example, PIXELYNX co-founder and artist Richie Hawtin and John Gerrard used Bronze to release a piece of music and art to go with it that would change every single day, revealing new elements as it evolved.
Another important pillar of innovation seems to be emerging around the idea of user-generated remixes of content.
The idea of an original piece of music being launched into the universe for fans to put their own take on it is something that is getting a lot of traction and has the potential to become a new format.
“The idea of an original piece of music being launched into the universe for fans to put their own take on it is something that is getting a lot of traction and has the potential to become a new format.”
Inder Phull, PIXELYNX
But in order for this kind of innovation to continue to happen and for a new format to rise to the top, the music industry, whose business structures are archaic, needs to catch up with the creatives.
Web3 promises to solve many of these problems through the use of blockchain, which identifies the original creators and label, ensuring that rights holders receive the credit and revenue they are entitled to.
As the innovators in our industry continue to forge new ground, there will start to be an industry consensus on which key standards and formats are going to take off. That’s probably a two-year process.
It’s the artists who will set the pace, however. Over the next year or so, we’ll likely see some really incredible projects, like Kanye’s, that start to set the blueprint.
The next format could come from the pairing of musical elements and hardware, from gaming like what I’m working on with PIXELYNX, it could come from a company like Splice.
One thing is certain, the next format is coming, and when it does, it promises to be every bit as revolutionary as MTV was to the music video in the 80s.Music Business Worldwide