Brunni Corsato: Hello, everyone. Welcome to your Trip and Talks number five. Today we're back for a bi-weekly chat on the future of music, where we sit down with creators, promoters, thinkers, shakers, and movers of the industry to scheme where we're going. I'm your host, Bruni. Today I'm joined by Steph Guerrero. How's it going, Steph?
Steph Guerrero: Sorry, I was retweeting the room. Yeah, it's a good day. I'm under a heat advisory, as I have been, I feel like, for the past two, three weeks. So clearly the world is burning, but the future of music is bright. So I'm excited.
Brunni Corsato: Wow. Yeah, we just hit the ground running. Love that. So just following up on that then. So what are the main pivotal moments you've lived through? And do you see any other pivotal moments on the horizon already, or do you think we're not there yet?
Steph Guerrero: Pivotal moments on the horizon? I think the biggest one is right now, everyone's having the sort of like realize that when we created the streaming model, we planned to serve the passive fan, the fan that just wants to hit play on a player and that's it and walk away. But we're not serving the superfans, right? For the superfans, that's what we save shows for. But what happens when an artist is not on tour, or what happens when an artist is touring, but maybe not coming to the specific town where your superfan is? So those are things that we need to consider, right? Because this superfan might be willing to spend money on an airplane ticket and hotel lodging to go to your concert, but what does that mean? Do those dollars need to go toward those things? Or can the artist create a more kind of immersive experience that truly is surrounded by them and their fans?
Brunni Corsato: Yeah, super good. And on that, I think you just tweeted this maybe a few hours ago. You mentioned the relationship with superfans, but also you mentioned that this relationship between superfans and artists shouldn't be extractive, right? It shouldn't be just one-sided. Like the artist is getting a lot of investment and money in return. So what are ways to keep the value exchange fair, in your opinion?
Steph Guerrero: I think for me, it's like building what your fans want. I have seen tons of artists kind of have this vision and that's just not the journey that your fans might want to go on. And that happens all the time. Some artists, maybe they've been working on a music genre for a really long time and they want to make a hard left, but they don't truly kind of connect to their fans and figure out what it is that their fans are connecting with. Because artists can jump genres. That's not an issue. It's just a matter of putting it into the context of what it is. How are you going to do this rollout? How are you going to tell the story so that your fans go with you? So that's super important. And the second thing is, I feel like merch is such an easy opportunity to just kind of pick up some dollars from fans.
Brunni Corsato: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And that's a good segue into the poll we put out yesterday, and if I were also interested in the result. So most people wanted to know about the relationship between storytelling and branding. And I feel like when you were talking about the connection between superfans and the artists and prioritizing their experience as well, even when they want to make a hard left, this can all work out if there's good, proper storytelling involved. Is that why you're so passionate about this?
Brunni Corsato: Absolutely, Steph. You're right about the importance of authenticity and focusing on what makes sense for creators and their audiences. Your transition from the traditional music industry to Web Three has been quite fascinating. Can you share some main highlights from that journey and your vision for Legato, the project you're currently building?
Steph Guerrero: Working at record labels, I felt the slow bureaucracy and lack of inclusivity. I wanted to create authentic experiences for fans, but the traditional industry didn't understand or support it. That's when I discovered Web Three and its potential to connect artists directly with their superfans. At Legato, I aim to empower artists to be independent and create meaningful connections with their audiences. It's an exciting time for independent musicians, and I want to show them the possibilities that Web Three offers.
Brunni Corsato: Indeed, the traditional music industry is facing challenges, and WebThree provides new opportunities for artists to engage with their fans. One of the key shifts we're witnessing is the move toward monetizing superfans rather than solely relying on streaming revenue. How do you see this shift impacting the music industry?
Steph Guerrero: Streaming has reached its critical mass, and the traditional market share payment model won't benefit record labels as independent music rises. So, the focus is shifting towards creating value for superfans. This transition may lead to a return to genuine fan experiences rather than just bundling merchandise. Live music, in particular, has gained importance, and maintaining close connections with fans throughout an artist's career is crucial.
Brunni Corsato: Building strong connections with fans, especially as an artist's career grows, can indeed be challenging. How do you envision scaling this deep connection to sustain a meaningful relationship with fans even as an artist's popularity increases?
Steph Guerrero: Scaling the deep connection with fans at a large scale can be difficult. However, it's essential to recognize that not every artist will become a global superstar. Instead, artists can focus on building valuable experiences for their fans at various levels of popularity. Offering exclusive access to sound checks, intimate unplugged encores, or interactive Zoom calls are some ways to create special moments for fans and foster a sense of community.
Brunni Corsato: That's a fantastic perspective. Creating a unique and immersive experience for fans can indeed strengthen the bond between artists and their communities. However, breaking out of the Web Three eco-chamber and influencing the broader music industry might be challenging. How do you believe we can bridge the gap and impact the traditional music industry positively?
Steph Guerrero: The traditional music industry prefers plug-and-play solutions, while the Web Three space is filled with experimentation and individual approaches. To bridge the gap, we should focus on serving fandoms and showing how Web Three enables fans to prove their authentic support for artists. Highlighting the benefits of having a permanent record of fandom and the ability to showcase unique experiences can attract fans and eventually influence the traditional industry.
Brunni Corsato: True, it's vital to showcase the unique opportunities that Web Three offers for fans to demonstrate their support and engagement. On the other hand,Web Three music still feels like an eco-chamber, and the on-chain music term might not be easily understood by the general public. How can we make Web Threemusic more accessible and appealing to regular listeners?
Steph Guerrero: You're right; we are not great marketers in Web Three music. The terminology like "on-chain music" can be confusing for regular listeners. Instead, we should focus on creating seamless experiences for fans, where the tech becomes invisible. By highlighting how Web Three enables fans to prove their fandom and gain access to exclusive content based on their engagement, we can attract regular listeners. Let's focus on genuine fan experience rather than technical jargon.
Brunni Corsato: That's a brilliant approach, Steph. Simplifying the language and emphasizing the value for fans is essential for mainstream adoption. Thank you so much for sharing your valuable insights and experiences with us today. It's been an enlightening discussion. We're excited about the future of Web Threemusic and its potential to empower both artists and fans.
Steph Guerrero: I agree, we need to show platforms like TikTok how Web Three can drive engagement and viewership. It's about finding the right approach that aligns with their goals and benefits both artists and their audience. As for charting, it's a challenging task to bridge the gap between Web Two and Web Three. We need to demonstrate the value and potential of Web Three in a way that appeals to a broader audience.
Lucas: You're right. We have to tackle the legacy library and licensing issues while proving the value of Web Three in driving viewership. It's not an easy task, but we need to find innovative ways to make Web Three music more accessible and appealing to the masses.
Brunni Corsato: Precisely, Web Three offers unique opportunities for artists to connect with their audience in new and exciting ways. We just need to find the right strategies and collaborations to make it work on a larger scale.
Steph Guerrero: That's correct. It's a time of experimentation and adaptation, and we need to be open to change in the music industry. Web Three presents endless possibilities, and by embracing it, we can create a more sustainable and inclusive future for artists and fans alike.
Brunni Corsato: Thank you both for sharing your valuable insights. The conversation around Web Three and its impact on the music industry is fascinating, and I look forward to seeing how it evolves in the coming years. Let's continue to explore and experiment with new models and approaches to shape the future of music.
Alex: Hi, Steph! Thank you for sharing your insights. As a musician navigating Web Three, I've always admired your advice. Could you share some practical tips on how to sustainably build a music career in this new landscape and where we should best invest our time?
Steph: Absolutely! The key is to be mindful of your bottom line and what you can realistically commit to. It's easy to get overwhelmed with all the platforms and activities available. Take time to prioritize and find what works for you. I've seen artists, like Jaden Violet, discover their sweet spot by scaling back on their Twitter spaces, finding a balance that suits them, and engaging their audience effectively.
Time blocking has been a game-changer for me. Allocating specific time for different tasks helps me stay focused and productive. But remember, it's not just about being active in Web Three spaces. Success also involves reaching fans outside these platforms. I've seen artists connect with their audiences on platforms like Tripoli, offering non-crypto solutions that resonate with a broader audience.
Brunni Corsato: That's really valuable advice, Steph! So, what's next on your journey? How can we stay updated with your work and connect with you?
Steph: My focus is on building Legato, a licensing solution for music. I'm incredibly excited about this project and its potential to empower artists. As for connecting with me, I'm passionate about supporting independent artists with their marketing efforts. Feel free to reach out to me anytime. I'm just a DMaway and always eager to help!
Brunni Corsato: True. But also in Webthree, we can prove that. Sadly, I'll have to cut you off there because we have two more peeps and only nine minutes left. Thank you for your contribution. Now, let's welcome Andrew and Alex to the stage. Andrew, hi, welcome. Take away.
Andrew(Speaker 4): Hey, Steph! Always a pleasure to hear you. You're so smart. I think we have similar backgrounds, so I have no disagreements with anything you say. And it's nice to have you spotlighted because I get to hear more of your story and thoughts than you coming up in someone else's space. My niece just bought Taylor's new album on a CD because it came with a code to register for a pre-sale for a concert. So that's a good example of selling physically. But Steph, you were talking about how marketing and Web Three are awful, and I think I'm noticing a little bit of burnout with Twitter spaces and just where people are trying to focus their time.
Andrew: As a listener and someone on the back end, I struggle to find as much value as I did in the beginning. Are you seeing a cultural shift happening? What are your thoughts on social marketing?
Steph Guerrero: Yeah, it's tough right now. Tk sold out 7000 NFTs, but they're not priced like the originals. He realized the market had changed and adapted new tools like Decent the Box, making it a successful sellout moment. There's burnout and challenges in the bear market. The social aspect is still there, just not as visible. Twitter has changed too. We need to adjust accordingly and activate new partnerships that open up new audiences.
Brunni Corsato: Thanks, Steph! Your insights are always valuable.