International DJ Crowdsources a Pop Song

Published May-13-13

A dance music track composed by a Swedish DJ and producer, and the world.

Avicii, Sweden

The Story:

International DJ Crowdsources a Pop Song Lennon and McCartney, Goffin and King, Simon and Garfunkel, the pop landscape is littered with successful musical collaborations. So how about a new one - the world and DJ Avicii?

The Swedish house producer has worked with some of the biggest names in electronic dance music, but in early 2012 he teamed up with telecommunications giant Ericsson and the public to create his next single. The project was called 'Avicii x You’ and the DJ labelled it the biggest musical collaboration in the world.

Global Music Collaboration

Members of the public and fellow producers were invited to visit the DJ’s website and listen to the basic chord progression for the song. During a two month submission period they contributed their own audio samples, effects, drum patterns, baselines, vocals, and melodies.

The response was phenomenal. There were 12, 951 submissions from 4,199 people from 140 countries. Avicii curated the contributions and held weekly semi-finals where fans could vote for the sounds that would make up the final mix.

Disruptive Technologies

The music industry was the first entertainment industry to be disrupted by digital technologies and innovations. File sharing, downloads, and the slicing and dicing of content has turned consumers into content creators. More people can now be involved in the creation process.

As the creative pool has widened and deepened traditional music companies have been forced to re-think their business models. Historically, they have been great innovators, but technology and the crowd are now in the driving seat.

Social media is also part of the mix and it played a big part in the success of Avicii's project. Contributors promoted their own submissions via social networks for comments and votes.

This was a true global collaboration and not all about Avicii. The star DJ awarded the most popular entries with official credits and press opportunities.

Networked Society

This crowdsourcing undertaking had the backing of Avicii’s label Universal Music Sweden as part of its Networked Society initiative. This aims to find new ways for industries, institutions and people to interact through real-time broadband communications. It predicts that by 2020 there will be 50 billion connected devices enabling anyone, anywhere to connect with other people in real-time.

Therefore, Networked Society is involved with a number of projects to explore how connectivity will radically transform the way we live, innovate and do business, and to prepare mind-sets.

Avicii Project Postscript

The finished track was released in late February 2012 to coincide with the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

All the royalties from the crowdsourcing project are being donated to House for Hunger. This is a charity co-founded by Avicii to help battle hunger worldwide.

Crowdsourcing and Change

The project demonstrated the power of a fully networked collaborative unit to create something new.

“It starts a flow of thinking for all industries to re-invent the way they collaborate across time and borders,” said Hans Vestberg, President and CEO, Ericsson.

“Music is one of the first industries being transformed by networking, collaboration and new technologies. We now see TV, publishing and the whole entertainment industry going down the same path.”

Are there lessons here for industries other than those involved in entertainment?

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