Mexico City’s voracious appetite for music streaming leads a pack of “trigger cities” sparking hits all over the globe. (Photo by Filip Gielda)

Concept by Chaz Jenkins, Article by Jason Joven

Trigger Cities Mini-Series: [Part 1-Concept] [Part 2-Southeast Asia] [Part 3-Latin America]

Where do you make most of your money in the streaming world? And by “where”, we don’t mean Spotify, Apple, YouTube or any single platform….but geographically where?

More than likely, it’s North America, Western Europe, Brazil, the Nordic region, and/or Australia. Myriad factors go into that: technology & royalty infrastructure, mobile data costs, smartphone adoption, GDP, revenue per user, market penetration rates, population size, copyright legislature and enforcement to name a few.

But what leads to your bottom line? Virality, of course. That damn buzzword.

Doesn’t matter if you’re talking about TikTok or artists starting their own podcasts or artists coding their own social media auto-reply bots to emulate personality-accurate responses to each commenter on all their platforms (someone’s doing that, right?) We want eyes and ears, and we’re competing against Netflix, YouTubers, Instagrammers, Twitchers and Kindles.

“We all ‘live in a city called the attention economy.’”— TechCrunch’s Andrew Keen, quoting ex-Google Design Ethicist Tristan Harris

In the streaming world, the spotlight shines on a select few, and for that blessed bunch, the light is blindingly lucrative. Whether it’s from an established superstar or emerging artist, the game gets so granular that attention ultimately comes down to a track-by-track basis.

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