Myndstream highlights the quality of its soundscapes

Background music is one of the fastest growing segments in the industry. But as evidenced by recent searches of some of the most streamed songs of the genre on Spotify, not all background music is created equal.

While compositions associated with sleep, relaxation, meditation and more are gaining popularity and playlists, some of the best sources of income have turned out not to be compositions at all.

How do you stand out in a field where recordings of 30 seconds of falling rain generate more streams than Lady Gaga some weeks? Myndstream, the label owned by UK-based Cutting Edge Group, home to a wide range of music for personal wellbeing, thinks the quality of their roster speaks volumes and is making efforts to spread the word – and music – to an even wider audience.

“We take a very distinct approach, where we consider art and science together,” says Freddie Moross, Head of Marketing at Myndstream and CEG. “And we record music the way we think mindful music should be, which is for the specific purpose of helping the listener, not just for the bottom line.”

In the back, he built his roster of composers steeped in the field of mindfulness and immersed himself in research and activations at the intersection of music and wellness. Moross recently co-founded and serves as CEO of Aybe, a company that will provide neurodiverse families with music therapy services and other resources.

On the audience side, Myndstream not only increases its presence on the streaming dial, but also builds communities on YouTube and other platforms.

“A lot of people see music as music. What we want to do is get people to see music as an amazing mental health and wellness product. Anything we can do to fill that gap, that’s what we’re looking to do right now,” says Moross.

The playlist, of course, is the motto of the day. 95% of Myndstream’s current revenue comes from Amazon

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Music, Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify and YouTube, where its artists and composers have collectively amassed billions of streams. The inclusion of his soundscapes in Amazon’s ambient playlists alone brought in 45% of the company’s revenue in 2020, according to Moross.

“How do you get your music out there more? The short answer on most platforms is playlists; you have to fight for storage space,” he says.

But at a time when people of all ages are increasingly turning to wellness apps and other sources to improve their mental health, Moross believes Myndstream’s credibility will keep it growing. A case in point is the label’s most notable artist, Liquid Mind, an Emmy-nominated songwriter, keyboardist, composer, producer and recording artist with strong ties to the music therapy community.

“Our main differentiator is that our music is not computer generated. We have a hundred living, breathing artists who have been making this music for over 40 years. We understand what kind of music works well for concentration, what kind of music works well for relaxation,” he says.

The YouTube Generation

A key part of Myndstream’s growth plan is to expand its audience beyond the traditional demographic for ambient music of women aged 40+. That’s a good bet, given that 41% of millennials and 46% of Gen Zers said they felt stressed or anxious most or all of the time in a recent Deloitte global survey.

To do this, some artists on the label exploit a sound they call “slo-fi”, a riff on the popular “lo-fi” genre that takes pop and rock beats and slows them down to create a nuanced meditative format. Instrumental covers of pop hits from Billie Eilish to Harry Styles to Nirvana featured on Netflix

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series Bridgerton have been generating a lot of buzz lately.

“We are working with our songwriters on this new genre and style, which we believe will bridge the gap between contemporary teenage audiences and millennials who love lo-fi beats, but also have a foot in the world of wellness,” says Moross.

Myndstream also plants flags where younger eyes and ears congregate. This winter, it bought YouTube aggregator Yellow Brick Cinema, which has nearly 6 million subscribers on its flagship as well as 300 ancillary channels. Myndstream has renamed one of these channels with its own nickname and is working with the team to improve the experience on the site.

“What surprised me was the scale they achieved based on the content they have. A lot of it was slideshow-based stock footage,” Moross says. “I think this team would be the first to say they want more budget so they can reinvest in build quality.We license high quality content and are looking to acquire a 4K footage company and channel. We believe in strong, multi-sensory visual components, total immersion in the music, we love that kind of stuff.

Myndstreaming with…

Other ways to distribute Myndstream music to the general public are being developed. Among them is a series of collaborations with entertainment, sports and lifestyle talent called “Myndstreaming With…” through which the label will curate a custom soundtrack tailored to an influencer’s wellness regimen. The idea is that influencers will not only benefit from the music but also become Myndstream brand ambassadors.

Announcements of the first two top entrants, one an athlete and the other a top talent, will follow in the coming months, Moross said.

“We hire cultural icons – talented athletes, actors – people who aren’t usually musicians but who love music and also really care about their own well-being, and we curate the soundscapes for their journey of sanity, creating four albums for them,” he says.

“They provide us with creative inputs. Say that one of the things they do to calm down is go surfing at a particular beach in their home town. We’re going to capture the sounds of the waves from that beach, get that nostalgic sound bed, and then create music around that based on their references.


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