PNW’s Got The Beat With Music Tech 

This weekend is turning Washington’s usual Labor Day weekend double-header music extravaganza into a triple-header. Along with our annual gifts of Bumbershoot and Seattleite Dave Matthew’s 4 days of shows at The Gorge Amphitheater, this year we also have former Seattleite Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters taking over Safeco Field on Saturday.

My first career was in the music business as a DJ, radio Program Director and then as a Promotion Director for music labels including Geffen, Sire and I.R.S. so this is one of my favorite weekends in Washington. The music will always matter as KEXP says, and it’s awesome for us to live in one of the worlds greatest cities for music and for music tech.

Were you at the Upstream Music Fest earlier this year? This was the second year for the three-day event where attendees discovered the rising stars of the Northwest music scene.

Although we have a rich variety of inspiring musical talent in the area, we also have a thriving music-based technology culture – and here are just a few of the companies contributing to the genre.

Napster was one of the first technology-based startups to disrupt the way listeners connect with music. In 1999, streaming music was a revolutionary concept; today, it has grown to become the largest single source of music and music-related revenue in the industry. Napster is still giving its members ad-free access to millions of songs and is now owned by Seattle-based Rhapsody International.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Lynnwood’s Coda Music offers wireless products created by musicians for musicians. Need a hands-free way to turn the pages of a musical score? Coda’s STOMP enables musicians and performers to change or scroll through pages on digital devices using their feet. It’s an easier, more seamless way to transition between songs or sheets of music.

If you love to remix tunes, then Seattle’s 8Stem offers just the app to let you live your dream. Its interactive audio format is a tool for anyone who wants to remix music like a boss. The startup’s founders are Bruce Pavitt, founder of Sub Pop records, and Adam Farish, formerly a nationally touring EDM DJ.

Did you know the world’s largest online music school is in Seattle? McCarthy Music lets anyone, anywhere learn how to play the piano from a roster of experienced, award-winning instructors. Founders Jason McVey and Kevin McCarthy offer classes via the industry’s first interactive, online platform.

We’ll end with the elephant in the room, Amazon Music. Amazon amped up its music streaming service this summer with Amazon Prime Music. It’s a new initiative created in part to complement its popular smart speakers, Echo and Alexa. Is Amazon taking on Spotify? Not according to a new article in AdAge, but you be the judge.

If you’re enjoying other music-related technology home-grown in Seattle, let us know.

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