Promised Land
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Promised Land

Youth Culture, Disruptive Startups, and the Social Music Revolution

About the Book

Promised Land is a collection of essays by Kyle Bylin that chronicles how disruptive startups and digital youth reshaped the music industry from 2008 to 2013. It begins by showcasing Bylin’s unique take on the piracy debate — how major label thirst for blockbuster artists encouraged fans to file-share music, and why unlimited access to songs makes them feel overwhelmed by the number of options. The book then explores a wide array of music services and applications that strive to change how people listen to and discover music. Bylin, a North Dakota native turned music technology writer, takes readers on a journey to the center of the music industry and the social music revolution.

About the Author

Kyle Bylin
Kyle Bylin

Kyle Bylin is a music technology analyst and user experience researcher, who specializes in consumer products and behavioral trends.

Previously, Bylin conducted user research and developed consumer insights at Live Nation Labs, a division of the company that creates websites and mobile apps. He authored internal reports on why people attend shows, how they convince friends to go, and the impact of venues on the live experience. Bylin also founded and edited, a music and tech think tank. He brought together over 30 influential execs, startup founders, and leading thinkers to write long-form essays, available online under a collection of the essays called “Divergent Streams.”

Prior to Live Nation Labs, Bylin was a chart manager at Billboard magazine. He oversaw the Social 50 and Uncharted artist rankings, spearheaded the development of Billboard’s music streaming chart initiatives, and wrote a weekly column about chart activity. He also contributed reporting and managed editing for, a leading trade publication. He has been featured as a source in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, NPR, Marketplace Money, and MTV News.

Bylin co-hosts The Upward Spiral (’s podcast), which provides its listeners with in-depth commentary and interviews featuring music and tech executives.

Table of Contents

    • How to Get a Job in the Music Industry
  • ACT 1
    • Marketing and Music: From Pop Tarts to Pop Artists
    • Killing Itself to Live: How the Record Industry Conceived Its Own Demise
    • Interchangeable Identities: The Collision of Culture, Technology, and Self
    • The Language of Tribes: True Fans and Outsiders
    • The Elsewhere Musician: Making Connections in a Fragmented World
    • The Barriers of Music Consumption: Past and Present
  • ACT 2
    • The Broken System: Deconstructing Music Consumption
    • On File-Sharing: Are You Smarter than a 12th Grader?
    • Paradox or Paradise: Music Choice in the Digital Age
    • Savor Your Music: The Effect of Abundance in Culture
    • The Hidden Challenges of Subscription Music
    • Chaos We Can Stand: The New Digital Music Ecology
  • ACT 3
    • The Rise of Capture Culture: How Apps Are Revolutionizing Music Collecting
    • Why Most Music Apps Fail
    • How Siri Could Transform Music
    • Four Ways to Make Facebook Music a Lot Better
    • Spotify Must Win Hearts to Grow Subscribers
    • The “New” Pandora: Blue Ocean to Bloody Water
  • ACT 4
    • Advertising Indie: Earbits Helps Bands Find Fans
    • Mainstream Fanatic: Songza Takes Music Playlists To The Masses
    • 3 Insights Into the Future of Geosocial Music
    • Music Discovery: The Path to Digital Failure
    • The Future of Music Charts
    • Beats Music: Crowded Market Gains New Rival
  • ACT 5
    • Is Broadcast Radio Losing American Teens?
    • How Music Consumer Research Has Changed
    • A College Professor Describes How His Student’s Music Listening Habits Have Shifted
    • An MIT Media Lab For Music
    • Next Big Sound’s Data Journalist Finds Stories In Numbers And Helps Labels Measure Success
    • Present Shock: When Music’s Future Arrives In The Here And Now

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