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Mike Huppe, Steve Aoki Talk Future of the Music Industry in the Digital Age on Axios

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Axios – February 17, 2023 – SoundExchange President and CEO Michael Huppe joined Axios for a “Future of the Music Industry” event. The discussion also featured interviews with Grammy-nominated DJ and producer Steve Aoki and Audius co-founder Roneil Rumburg addressing how technology has impacted creators’ ability to monetize their work.

“As we think about all these new technologies, like Web3 and metaverse, they’re great and exciting platforms, but they’re often built on the backs of creators,” Huppe told Storyline founder Chris Frates during the interview. “And we have to make sure that labels and artists and songwriters and publishers are all part of the discussion because they deserve to participate fairly in the wealth that these new platforms are inevitably going to create.” 

Aoki described the emergence of Web3 as “the new underground” in his conversation with Axios Senior Media Reporter Sara Fischer, who also hosted the event. “I remember when I first started DJing to 30, 40 people – passionate people who love this kind of music. It wasn’t meant for everyone else yet. And then, boom, I [go from] playing a club for 30 or 40 people to now playing the festivals to 30-40 thousand people and everyone’s having the time of their lives, you know? So I feel like this is the new underground for me.”

“The music industry continues to thrive. The global music market actually grew in 2021 in the midst of the pandemic by almost 19%. It’s up to around $26 billion dollars,” Huppe said. “We continue to see that growth coming in 2023, and I think the thing to watch out for in the future are artificial intelligence, blockchain, the metaverse, all of it is going to bring new creations to the user and to the fan. There’s going to be ways that fans can interact and experience music that they never even contemplated before. Ultimately, we at SoundExchange want to make sure that we have an industry that’s financially healthy and fair.”

Watch the full interview here.