An Interview with Alex Montoya

Alex Montoya

As part of our current series of interviews with music industry pioneers,  we reached out to Alex Montoya from DJ artist management company, Analog A (http://www.analog-a.com)

They represent global DJ artists such as John Digweed, Sasha and Carl Cox. Other prominent DJ’s include Sidney Charles, Heidi and Yousef

Alex, who looks after the roster  of DJ artists in Spain, and has the enviable task of sampling the delights of the Mediterranean club scene such as Ibiza, knows a thing or two about music and also recognizes firsthand the current issues in the music industry.

Alex is also CEO of Alex Montoya Management and lectures at SAE Institute in Barcelona on music business

We explored Blockchain and Music with him and he gave his thoughts and insights into this emerging technology

 

Mo

Hi Alex. Good to speak to you and thanks for joining us

Alex

Hi Mo. Good to speak to you

 

Mo

First off, have you heard of Blockchain?

Alex

I have, and I have heard there are some universities offering degrees in music and Blockchain in Madrid which looks interesting and looks like something that will change the music industry

 

Mo

What are your views on the current state of music industry with regards to how its structured?

Alex

I have been involved in the music industry for past 15 years and there has been a great change in the last 5 years which has been a greater change in the industry compared to the last 100 years. It’s been crazy sometimes for professional to understand what are going to be the next steps in music

In the past the record labels had all the power, they invest the money and create the videos and support the music with the tours.

Now I work with independent artists and we have a big big opportunity to release music direct to fans using different platforms to engage people and start to make revenue performing small gigs. In the past this was impossible.

Now we have aggregators who can put you onto various platforms. Of course, this creates more competition for independent artist, but now there are more opportunities and less of a music mafia situation

I also teach about at various academies on music business and management and I can see young kids experimenting with music and they can decide later if they want to go a label. Now it’s more fair and with bitcoins and Blockchain removing the middle man, music will be more direct to fans

 

Mo

What are your thoughts on the likes of Spotify in terms of independent artists who want to attract an audience, but don’t make  money through Spotify?

Alex

Its difficult because I like Spotify as it’s a great way to get visibility but the playlists are now controlled by the majors. So we struggle to get on decent playlists.

But our strategy, since we don’t make much money, is more to gain visibility to attack different markets and use Spotify to let fans know where our DJ’s will be playing next to buy tickets. but artists tend to make money from touring and playing live. It’s a difficult situation sometimes.

 

Mo

You mentioned that Spotify controlled by the majors and dictating what the fans are listening to, so independent artists don’t get listened?

Alex

The majors bought the playlists. Spotify seems to be losing money year after year, but they need to be more transparent

 

Mo

You do still see a place for Spotify, but in terms of artists getting exposure and doing well, they are not?

Alex

Yes, you can be lucky if you get on a playlist, but really it’s the major labels pushing their own big artists. Sometimes you see something different, but today this platform is all about money

 

Mo

What is your knowledge of Blockchain so far? Through your contacts of independent artists have they heard of Blockchain?

Alex

95% of my artists don’t have knowledge of it. One of my artists has created a new platform called Viberate. Now people are talking about cryptocurrencies.  I believe this will become to be a game changer. I see a lot of positive things that could be changed with Blockchain, but in Spain this take times to move and be adopted

 

Mo

Would you say that there is a lack of visibility on where artists music is played and have no idea of royalties due to them?

Alex

Exactly.  Today the biggest problem here and across the world, the artists have no info on how to get royalties or don’t have time to collate the information or where to get it. There was a big scandal here where an agent stole money from the artists so this is a big issue.

Now it’s time to explore Blockchain so artists know where there track is played and have a transparent system and redistribute the wealth

 

Mo

What are some of the strategies that DJ’s are using to generate relationships with their fans

Alex

There are many opportunities for DJ’s to reach fans, but using the Blockchain and tokens would be easier to make a track and sell direct to fans and avoid middleman taking a cut.

A crowd-funding feature with cryptocurrencies will be super interesting and change the music industry. This is similar to David Bowie with his David Bowie bonds. There are many talented artists but they have no opportunities to get their music heard. But fans having an interest in artists, similar to holding shares this is a brilliant idea

 

Mo

Thanks Alex. It been great chatting with you and hearing your thoughts on Music and Blockchain.

Alex

Thanks for the opportunity to chat to you

 


Also published on Medium.