2019’s hardly half over and it’s already delivered some of the best music journalism in recent memory. We’ve got deep data divers uncovering new patterns in the global music consumption chain, M&A analysts breaking down one of the year’s biggest business deals from all angles, interactive maps illuminating how campaign life cycles differ between radio and DSPs, time-traveling explorations into a user-centric streaming world, some Sherlock-approved detective work tracking MIA metadata, and a whole lot more.
We sorted through 100s of links before arriving at our shortlist for the can’t-miss stories of 2019 to date and we’d be lying if we told you we caught ‘em all; consider this just the tip of the iceberg. For the meme-obsessed among us, consider kicking that itch out of your system before tackling some longreads by clicking here, here, or here. And without further ado…
Trigger Cities: Latin America & South/Southeast Asia
Chartmetric’s multi-part data story traces hits back to unexpected origins across the globe.
MBW talks shop with Willard Ahdritz, mapping out music’s sunny future in the process.
What Is Happening to Streaming’s Superstars?
Rolling Stone uncovers good news among shifting numbers: more revenue to more artists.
Cherie Hu highlights a different facet of music’s human vs. machine narrative for CJR.
The DataFace shares interactive research to illustrate how big songs really catch fire.
Is User-Centric a Viable Method?
Penny Fractions’ David Turner sinks his teeth into an alternative music business model.
Copyright control becomes a mainstream conversation in this New York Times piece.
TikTok Isn’t Going Anywhere (Not Yet)
The Ringer on the platform’s ongoing rise — and it’s mutual reliance on music.
Metadata Is Still A Giant Mess
The Verge on the simple errors & complex systems costing music lots of commas.
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