Over the past three decades Berlin has developed into a major European hub for both, music and technology. Berlin based and globally recognized flagships like Ableton, Soundcloud and Native Instruments have shaped the music tech industry for years and are, to a great extent, responsible for building Berlin’s splendid reputation as a location for aspiring startups with a background in these fields.
„Together with London and Stockholm, Berlin has established itself as a hub for music and music tech in Europe. Much of what still attracts money and people today, however, is based on the successes of the past. Soundcloud, Native Instruments and Ableton are big names in the music tech world, but the time would be right for some new flagships.“
While those three emerged out of a development that started in the early 90’s, young companies like Holoplot, Soundbrenner, Mimi Hearing Technologies and Groovecat have been attracting a lot of attention internationally.
Their success can be greatly attributed to their relentless work ethic as well as the network of Berlin-based music tech associations and initiatives, which helped smooth over the market entrance. Let’s take a look at some of the associations and events that form the underlying infrastructure - the "deep web" - of the Berlin music tech scene.
Brought to life by Berlin Music Commission – the network of the Berlin music industry – on behalf of the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Businesses, Most Wanted: Music is the most important music business event in Berlin and second largest conference for music and creative industry professionals in Germany. Inspired by Berlin’s rebel spirit, Most Wanted: Music aims at bringing together artists, decision-makers, creative professionals, founders and pioneers to exchange views on the future of music and new technologies in a more experimental, thoughtful, inclusive and kinder way.
Since 2014, the annual conference offers „(…) a wide range of keynotes, interviews and panel discussions, hands-on workshops and matchmaking events“. This years MW: M19 will take place on November 6th and 7th at Alte Münze Berlin (Molkenmarkt 2, 10179 Berlin) and will host visionaries like Scott Cohen, Jannik Hülshoff and Holley M. Kholi-Murchison discussing topics focusing on the value of music in 2019, new (live-)music experiences, new music markets and the social impact of music.
„(…) we are getting more and more interest on an international level and we try to include as many partners as possible from around Europe and the globe. But is it also critical to keep the local connection with all these great music tech events and meetups happening around the city on a daily basis. Ideally we manage to connect the local to the global players at the event and initiate relevant and sustainable working relationships between them.“
As Most Wanted: Music has established itself as the leading annual music business and tech event in Berlin, another music tech association offers support and grants access to mentoring programs year-round.
The Venue Berlin is a co-working space, a recording studio, and a stage - a hub for artists and entrepreneurs in audio and music alike. It is based within the Mehringdamm-neighbourhood of the lively district Kreuzberg, and neighbours to the editorial offices of the German Rolling Stone, Metal Hammer and Musikexpress magazine. Many concerts, workshops, showcases and more have been held in this space since it opened its doors in 2017. As an important platform for likeminded entrepreneurs, it has become a cornerstone of Berlin music-tech.
„The Venue Berlin is an important asset for the music-tech scene because we have built a place where people can actually meet, exchange ideas, get feedback or even set up their own events. We have a few events (…) that focus on certain topics, and pain points of the industry. This way people can exchange ideas about a specific issue right away and it’s easier to start a conversation.“
Serving as a bridge between startups and their partner accelerator program APX, The Venue Berlin is constantly looking for exciting new ventures with scalable business models for curating content and context, connecting artists and consumers, augmenting sound experience and managing rights. Twice a month they host their so called „After Work Sessions“, a two hour panel on a topic relevant to the future of music tech, and a great way for startups to show off their work and get in touch with potential investors. It is also an occasion for the local music tech scene to come together, connect and exchange ideas in a welcoming and supportive atmosphere.
Located within the neighbourhood of Warschauer Straße - the epicentre of Berlin club culture -as part of the House of Music (Revaler Straße 99), Music Pool Berlin is a consulting platform for musicians and people working in the music business. Funded by the European Social Fund and Musicboard Berlin it acts as the main point of contact for music creators in the German capital and provides information on advanced training, coaching, as well as networking opportunities. The project, which was founded in a joint effort by the Berlin clubcommission and all2gethernow, offers a free orientation every Wednesday and Friday. Attending the 45-minute consultation is the mandatory first step in order to be granted access to their coaching program.
„MusicTech Germany or Music Pool Berlin are extremely lively communities, on whose platforms not only ideas emerge, but also opinions are formed. The best example is the discussion about the reform of European copyright law, which was moderated by both networks.“
With its diverse network of institutions, Berlin is fertile ground for whatever the music tech visionaries of tomorrow have in store, whether it be new concepts of integrating Artificial Intelligence into music production, personalizing the private sound experience through algorithms or the growing impact of deep tech on music tech. Whatever it will be, Berlin will be ready.
- City with a beat: Facts about the music tech capital (including infographic)
- Why music tech startups choose Berlin
Do you have a specific question or inquiry? Don't hesitate to contact with Berlin Partner directly!
Text: Spring. Brandideas
Header Image: Most Wanted: Music