Apps, Mobile & SMS

Divergent Streams: Reflections and Explorations of the Modern Music Industry

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This is the preface for Divergent Streams, a collection of essays edited by Kyle Bylin (@sidewinderfm) and written by influential executives, startup founders, and thinkers in the music industry. Download a free copy of the e-book here.

I wanted something to read. Something that challenged me. Something that engaged me. Something that forced me to sit down and consider the writer’s
perspective. What I found instead were news stories about trivial developments, blog posts with big headlines but small insights, and numbered lists
lacking intellectual substance.

As someone who cares deeply about music and technology, I found this disheartening. I wanted someone to show me the bigger picture and help me see things
from a different view. I wanted someone to visualize the future and inspire me to imagine what’s to come. Certainly, I thought, there must be analysts out
there identifying emerging trends and writing about them in a way that would encourage me to grow as a reader.

But I couldn’t find anyone who did that on a regular basis. Although there are writers I admire and publications I love, I still wanted more.

Happily, this frustration presented an opportunity: Other people in music and technology may also feel the need for deeper analysis, I reasoned. So I set
out on a mission to develop and curate the type of content I wanted to read.

I started out by taking on several younger writers and publishing their essays through Hypebot. Once this effort gained momentum, I started my publication, I asked dozens of my friends, colleagues, and heroes if they would like to write guest posts. I told them my vision for a new
conversation, but gave little direction about how it should begin. I wanted them to tell me what they had been thinking about lately and how they saw
important issues developing. I wanted them to take on topics that they cared about.

In the ensuing months, 30 people wrote essays on such topics as digital music companies and their attempts to align themselves more closely with artists;
the state of the live music experience and how new technologies could improve it; why social music services have failed and what they must do to gain
traction; whether music fanatics are dying out or simply waiting to be found amongst mountains of behavioral data; how D.I.Y. artists make money and where
new revenue streams might lie; and the future of music listening and discovery.

The following pages represent a collection of the best of these wonderfully insightful works. I’m both honored and grateful that the authors took time out
of their busy lives to participate in this project. And while many others wrote essays that didn’t make their way into this collection, each of them
contributed to moving the conversation forward and gave us all something substantial to read. Thank you one and all. I also want to thank Eric Garland for
believing in this project; Bruce Houghton for giving it a bigger stage; and Annie Licata for editing a majority of these works and making them sing.

Sometimes, if you want to see the bigger picture, you have to paint it yourself.


Download a copy of Divergent Streams for free.



Rishi Mirchandani | @rmirchandani

VP of Operations at

Brenna Ehrlich | @BrennaEhrlich

Senior writer for the MTV O Music Awards

Matt Urmy | @matturmy

Founder and CEO of Artist Growth

Cortney Harding | @cortneyharding

Partnerships at Soundrop

Casandra Govor | @casandragovor

Marketing Associate at INgrooves

Aaron Master | @aaronmidomi

Platform Manager at Dolby Laboratories

Matt Kiser | @Matt_Kiser

Editorial Operations at Forbes Magazine

Sagee Ben-Zedeff | @sageeb

Founder and CEO of Serendip Media

Jason Herskowitz | @jherskowitz

Core contributor at Tomahawk

Alex Hoffman | @alexbhoffman

Principal at Subversive Inc.

Refe Tuma | @RefeUp

Occasional music blogger

Richard Pulvino | @rpulvino

PR and Social Media Specialist

Benji Rogers | @BenjiKRogers

CEO and founder of PledgeMusic

Jay Frank | @Repojay

Owner and CEO of DigSin

Alicia Yaffe | @thespllbndgroup

Founder at The Spellbound Group

Marc Ruxin | @ruxputin

Founder and CEO of TastemakerX

Aaron Tap | @aarontap

Guitarist, Vocalist, Music Producer

Emily White | @emwhitenoise

General Manager of WVAU

Chase Farmer | @chase_farmer

Software Engineer

Brendan O’Connell | @therightnow
Keyboardist for The Right

Justin Stansbury
| @twentyeyes138
Owner of Teethcutter Booking and Management

Alex May
| @alexmdrums
Writer at

Michael San Pascual
Writer at

Matthew Moore
| @MatthewrMoore
Writer at

A huge thank you to Iancu Barbarasa (@iancul) who designed the cover!

Kyle Bylin (@sidewinderfmis the founder and editor of, a music and technology think tank. He is spearheading the development of the Ultimate Chart and related product strategy at Live Nation Labs, a division of the company that develops websites and mobile apps.  Alongside e-commerce expert Jason Spitz, he also co-hosts The Upward Spiral, a bi-weekly music industry podcast.

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1 Comment

  1. Kyle, why is there NO voice from the music business on the list? As I haven’t read the book yet, I qualify my question, perhaps this book isn’t about the music biz. But if it is, it needs a seriously expanded scope. I would love to discuss this as a larger issue. @brawling

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