Well, it was good while it lasted…

Hi there,

Sorry to make it about us for a moment, but…. it was entirely expected but nonetheless rather sad to learn that amongst the casualties of Elon Musk’s scorched earth moves at Twitter will be Revue, the very platform responsible for sending this email.

I could probably ramble for a while about how Revue should form part of Twitter’s broader strategy to accommodate long form content, but in truth our annoyance is a little more selfish.

Since shifting to Revue – which enabled a re-design of the Digest into the form you see now – our open rates have rocketed. Our average open rate is now above 60%, which is insane for a newsletter of this type. Your feedback has been incredible too – additions of things like the hot takes and more images etc have all been well received. We’ve even seen other newsletters copying our style, which is super flattering.

Now though, we need to find a new home. Again. Apparently we will have until the end of the year, but honestly given Musk’s volatility right now, we feel it might be wiser to move sooner rather than later as it’s entirely possible the whole platform might vanish overnight.

To allay any fears then, I think it’s worth confirming that we’re exporting emails and generally readying for Revue to vanish overnight. Hopefully it won’t, but who knows. In an ideal world, someone will buy it, but I don’t think that’s where Mr Musk’s head is at right now.

Watch this space. Ideally we can turn this into something even better. 💪🏻

For now, enjoy the news below, and we’ll be back next week. I think if we do move platform, we will also let you all know so you can be sure to check spam filters and suchlike (inevitably such moves can cause some volatility on that front!).

In the meantime, have a great weekend,


🎶 written whilst listening to the legendary “Blech II” mix of Warp’s catalogue, mixed by DJ Food and PC. Not available on any streaming services (a common issue with mixes), hence the YouTube link. Is this one of the greatest mixes of all time? Yes – only bettered IMO by the pair’s Ninja Tune colleagues, Coldcut, and their ridiculous, genre-smashing “Journeys By DJ” mix. If you’ve never heard either before, I genuinely envy you discovering them for the first time now.

Amazon sees 100M songs as a draw, but are the majors tiring of DSP bloat?

Hi there –

There’s an interesting paradox in two news stories today. First is that Amazon Music is now making available a catalogue of over 100M songs for Prime users to listen to – albeit only in shuffle mode.

The second is that the constant growth of Spotify’s (and to be fair, other DSPs) long tail of music is both creating a cost issue (on the basis all this music requires storage somewhere in the cloud) and frustration among the major labels, who are viewing the platform as one increasingly clogged up with poor quality music.

So, Amazon are wooing users with that big 100M number, whilst the majors (well, Universal at present, though I suspect Sony and Warner would feel similar) are tiring of the bloat of these systems in which all music is presented equally, when in their view it is not.

This 100M number has cropped up previously, when Apple Music announced it had that many songs on its platform. Ironically at the time, the point of their press release was to highlight how the company is helping users navigate that all. In reality, that detail was lost as everyone (myself included) simply focused on that monstrous number and asked what this was doing for music consumption in general.

I’ve felt for some time that DSPs are pretty broken in that regard, and are having quite a negative effect on listening habits. I am one of those people who now avoids DSPs for the most part in favour of physical formats, purely because I think the ritual of listening to music is more rewarding that way.

Does Joe Public feel the same though? Perhaps Amazon will be the canary in the coalmine in that regard. Will consumers settle for a listen-on-shuffle experience if it’s rolled into their Prime subscription? My gut feeling says no, but it will certainly be interesting to find out.

Once again though, I wonder how much longer this can go on before music fans crave a more focused, niche experience. Everywhere I look, the cultural signposts are there: people are increasingly tiring of social, tiring of the “all of everything all the time” gluttony of consumption, and alongside it, they’re burning out.

In the face of that, it looks like more and more companies are realising that the answer is to pull their customers in closer and super-serve that. This is why Amazon is offering more to their Prime subscribers. It’s why Disney is opening an ecommerce store to drive merch sales to their Disney+ subscribers.

It’s all about drawing down revenue from a diverse range of income streams. With that in mind, anyone sitting hoping that Spotify alone will pay the bills is crazy. The name of the game now is the focus on those artist-centric communities and super-serve that.

Have a great evening,


🎶 written whilst listening to Monster Magnet’s “Dopes To Infinity“. I’d forgotten what a gem this album is. Perfect for a frazzled mind like mine to hammer the Digest out to 😆