Reality Studies
Urgent Futures with Jesse Damiani
Cherie Hu: What's Next for the Music Industry? | Urgent Futures Podcast Ep. 4

Cherie Hu: What's Next for the Music Industry? | Urgent Futures Podcast Ep. 4

🎙️ In the latest episode of the URGENT FUTURES, Jesse sits down with Cherie Hu to talk all things music and technology

No transcript...

Welcome to the Urgent Futures podcast, the show that finds signal in the noise. Each week, I sit down with leading thinkers whose research, concepts, and questions clarify the chaos, from culture to the cosmos.

The best way to support the show, you ask? Pop over to YouTube and hit that Subscribe button. You hear it all the time for a reason—nothing will help the channel grow more than that simple click.

My guest today is Cherie Hu.

Cherie is an award-winning researcher, founder, and educator forging new paths in music, technology, and business. Since 2019, she has run Water & Music, a global innovation platform for the music business. Through data-driven market research, online courses, consulting projects, and live events, Water & Music has helped thousands of industry professionals translate emergent music-tech trends into transformative opportunities in business and culture. She has also published hundreds of articles for Billboard, Forbes, NPR Music, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone,Variety, and DJ Mag, among many others. In Fall 2024, Hu will be joining Syracuse University's Bandier Program for Recording and Entertainment Industries as a Professor of Practice, focused on teaching emerging music business models and technologies.

Cherie is my go-to source for understanding key matters in the music business. Music is a domain where developments in technology often land early but have spillover effects in other industries. Think about how prominent sampling and remix culture have become through music, and the effect in domains like art, design, and video.

In our conversation, which we recorded in December 2023, Cherie artfully walks us through the music business, and in the process reflects on broader shifts in technology such as blockchain and artificial intelligence. She also makes a pretty big prediction for 2024—hop into the episode to find out.

Reality Studies Recommends:

NOTE: Purchasing through these links supports the work I do with Reality Studies. I will only ever share products that I would endorse regardless of financial incentive.

ZBiotics: Right now, get 10% off ZBiotics. Just head over to and use code JESSEDAMIANI. The next day after drinking feels way better when you take one of these. Art fairs have no shortage of alcohol—perfect time to test drive ZBiotics.

Genetically engineered by a team of PhD microbiologists, ZBiotics is a probiotic drink that breaks down the byproduct of alcohol responsible for rough mornings after drinking (acetaldehyde).

NordVPN: Right now, get up to 69% off + 3 months extra through this link. Some people tell me that “VPN” brings to mind ideas of hackers and the dark web, but honestly VPNs are just an extremely easy way to stay much safer online. I’ve used NordVPN for the past four years, and appreciate what they offer, including Threat Protection against malware, 24/7 customer support, fast speeds, and more. One account can protect up to 6 devices (phone and computer), and they don’t track or share what you do online. Another benefit: you can always access the content/apps you have at home, wherever in the world you are.

Mission Farms CBD: Mission Farms CBD crafts full-spectrum CBD products for specific conditions like sleep, stress, and discomfort, using a combination of CBD and terpenes found in essential oils. I swear by this stuff: I take one of their Marionberry Lemon gummies to end each day.

There’s a lot of junk CBD on the market. All of Mission Farms’s CBD comes from a small farm in Bend, Oregon. They farm the hemp organically, tend every plant by hand, and test for purity four times: the soil, the hemp, the hemp-extract, and the final products. This CBD is designed for wellness and it shows. Go to this link and use code SPRINGISHERE for 25% off.

CREDITS: This podcast is edited and produced by Adam Labrie and me, Jesse Damiani. Adam Labrie also directed, shot, and edited the video version of the podcast, which is available on YouTube. The podcast is presented by Reality Studies. You can learn more by visiting And if you appreciate the work I’m doing, please subscribe and share it with someone you think would enjoy it.

Find more episodes of Urgent Futures at: Past conversations include Taylor Lorenz, Asad J. Malik, Lia Halloran & Kip Thorne.

Reality Studies is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

Reality Studies
Urgent Futures with Jesse Damiani
Welcome to the Urgent Futures Podcast, the show that brings you tomorrow's ideas today. Each episode, I sit down with leading thinkers for big idea dialogues that clarify the chaos, from culture to the cosmos. Stick around to hear the research, concepts, and questions that animate their approaches to reality.