The 2024 NAMM show

Hey friends!

Today we’re going to talk about the 2024 NAMM show.

I’m actually writing this on a plane coming back from California for the NAMM show, which is also my excuse for why today’s newsletter is a day late! Should be back on schedule next week and with the podcast back on track as well.

For those of you that I bumped into at NAMM, it was great to meet you in person!

What is NAMM?

Just in case you’ve never heard of it, NAMM is the national association of music merchants. In a nutshell it’s an event where makers of music gear show off their new or noteworthy products to distributors, re-sellers and press. 

However many artists attend either out of being sponsored by these gear companies, performing live or out of personal interest. Throughout the day there are many educational talks running for artists, marketing teams and pretty much anything in the music space. 

It used to be more closed off, but recently it has become much easier for non-merchants to attend. 

Pretty much anyone involved in the music industry can have a good time at NAMM. With the possible exception of the people who have to stand at the booths all day.

NAMM Highlights

I’m breaking up my highlights from the 2024 NAMM show into  ‘educational’ and ‘gear’. Knowing that most of you probably care more about the educational aspects more than the gear, I’ll focus more on that. But i’m also a music gear nerd so i’m going to share some highlights I saw.


One of the talks I attended was on advanced TIkTok strategies by Taran Grey. His approach was to treat TikTok more like a search engine, and to take advantage of how their algorithm works to increase your results. 

Honestly this drastically changed how I think about the platform and i’m shifting my TikTok strategy based on it.

Here’s a summary of his tips:

  • TikTok runs natural language processing to generate a script of your videos, and uses AI to interpret what is visually happening in your video

  • Make sure what you’re saying (if you’re talking) aligns with what is on screen

  • Don’t add new information in the caption, it should only support what is already in the video

  • Treat hashtags as further filters, and make sure they’re relatively niche. Only use 3-4. 

  • Skip broad hashtags like ‘newmusic’, ‘fyp’ and others. They not only don’t help, but they hurt you.

  • In general you’d rather be too specific than too broad.

The next talk we’ll talk about was actually a 2-hour session by Wendy Parr. The focus of this was on artist identity and branding. However it’s all about learning about yourself so you can be the best you that you can be, and that will make you more marketable and make it easier for fans to love you. 

Here are areas Wendy had everyone reflect on:

  • What were your favorite artists as a child?

  • What is your favorite song you’re embarrassed by?

  • What are you most proud of?

  • List 5 artists who inspire you

  • If money were no object and you didn’t have to work, what would you do every day?

It went deeper than this, and every 20 minutes or so you’d break into focus group to talk about these things with other artists you’ve never met before. It really forced you to think about yourself, but also learn about yourself by hearing what other artists are saying.

The last talk I attended was on surviving the upcoming tech apocalypse by Benn Jordan and Michael Pelczynski. In this session they talked about how AI very likely won’t kill the music industry, because many people feared radio, physical media, the internet, sampling, digital downloads and streaming would kill the music industry.

This new wave of AI tools will enable music creators to work in ways we’ve never imagined. Some types of work may evolve or disappear, but the broader industry will be fine. Additionally, artists will keep making music because they love making music. Only ‘fake artists’ will quit if AI starts to become a problem. 

I went to more talks and panels, but these are what I remembered most strongly.

Gear & Exhibits

I don’t cover gear in this newsletter so I’ll keep this short, but I wanted to highlight things I found particularly interesting. 

This first one is Wavebone, who were showing off their new designs for modular studio furniture. I was particularly excited about this after my horrific experience trying to work with AZ Studio Workstations for a new desk.

Yamaha showed off their new Seqtrak mobile music production studio. It’s kind of like a Teenage Engineering OP-Z.

Korg has created desktop / rackmount versions of their Opsix, Modwave and Wavestate synthesizers. Not that I need any more synthesizers, but as someone that pretty much only buys desktop / rackmount modules i’m glad more synths are being created without keys.

Here’s some more stuff:

  • Modal Electronics has a new Cobalt8 synthesizer

  • 4MS showed their new swappable Catalyst controller / sequencer modules

  • Gamechanger showed off their MOD series pedals

  • Synthesizer V Studio showed off their AI vocal software

  • Strandberg shows off their new Boden essential, a budget version of their popular guitar (I have a Strandberg 8 string myself)

I’m leaving out so much stuff here. For those of you who haven’t been to NAMM before there are quite literally hundreds of vendors on display and you walk by all of them over a 4 day window, so it’s super easy to overlook things and forget even more.

I highly recommend checking out your favorite gear blog to hear about everything that was announced!

New Content

I just ran a music marketing summit with over 10 hours of content from over 15 experts in the music industry, so I made a montage video showing 15 minutes of highlights from the event!

Let's talk about how you can get your first 1,000 monthly listeners on Spotify for free!

Did you know you can listen to my music industry interviews on podcast platforms? Click here to listen to the Modern Music Marketing podcast.

Whenever you’re ready, there are 4 ways I can help you:

  1. My courses. Spotify Growth Machine teaches you how to use Facebook ads to promote your music on Spotify. YouTube Growth Machine teaches you how to grow a YouTube channel organically and how to use YouTube ads. Fan Growth Machine teaches you how to build a website, online store and grow your email list.

  2. My ad agency. Forbid Media specializes in running Facebook conversion ads to promote your music on Spotify.

  3. Website / Store / Funnels. MusicFunnels is the best all-in-one platform for music artists to make a website, online store, sales funnels and build their mailing list.

  4. 1-on-1 consulting. You can book 1-hour calls with myself or Alex Bochel here.

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