Music and tech have increasingly crossed paths and become involved in each other’s business over the years. How the music industry plays with technology is still up for debate. Musicians can’t snub an evolving technological world, and most artists don’t want to. But the scale sometimes seems to tip in a certain direction. Sales of recorded music continue to fall while tech companies profits increase.
Project Music, a new music/tech accelerator program in Nashville, Tennessee has high hopes for finding a solution to the uneven relationship between the two industries.
The program calls itself the first tech accelerator in America dedicated to the future of the music industry. Big shoes to fill as there’s not a clear solution in sight, or a clear picture of what music looks like down the road – who gets what, who owns what, what artists owe fans, what artists deserve.
“From the beginning, we wanted to make sure we are looking for companies that create a larger pie of revenue, not just divide the current one more,” explained director of Project Music Robbie Goldsmith. “We look for and create companies that produce more dollars for the industry. We want everyone involved to get paid for their hard work.”
Project Music is the result of the non-profit Nashville Entrepreneur Center partnering with both the music and tech communities. The accelerator has the two main goals of 1) Creating new jobs (and businesses), resulting in economic growth, and 2) To grow revenue for the entire music industry as a whole. In their first class, the program is hosting 8 startups. Out of more than 100 applications and three rounds of evaluations, with dozens of investors, music industry, and startup professionals, these were the 8 companies chosen based on their ability to attract future investments.
Companies can’t publicly talk about their progress until week 10 of the program, but Goldsmith indicates things are moving in the right direction. “The group of Project Music teams have already raised over $1 million for their companies,” he said.