Dmitri Vietze
Jun 29, 2023
7 min read

Cultural Storytelling for Music Creation Tech Companies

Cultural Storytelling for Music Creation Tech Companies. Rock Paper Scissors, Inc. copyright 2023

Looking for Dmitri’s full Cultural Storytelling for Music Creation Tech Companies white paper? Get it at the bottom of this page!

Many music creation technology companies focus on getting attention through the standard product reviews in gear and studio production publications.  Most are missing out on one press category that truly differentiates them and weaves their position deep into the fabric of new generations of customers and users: cultural storytelling.

Cultural stories are the human stories that surround your product—the creative processes, scenes, and personalities that go far beyond specs and features. Cultural stories show how your innovations and value goes far beyond their original use and impacts culture and society.

Why Tell Cultural Stories?

As more and more instrument and software products emerge for music makers, the gear and production market is getting more and more crowded. In addition, while media coverage provides credibility for new products or product updates, what really gets people talking and digging into new products or updates are the ways those companies are creating new sounds, new scenes, and more creativity.

In addition, not all potential customers and users of your product read the studio production and gear media outlets. You can increase your reach when you have stories that are relevant to other media outlet categories including:

  • Music Fan Outlets (Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, NME) 
  • Lifestyle Outlets (Vanity Fair, GQ, People Magazine, Good Morning America) 
  • News and Culture Outlets (The New York Times, New Yorker, The Guardian)
  • Business Outlets (Fast Company, Forbes, Wired, TechCrunch)

But few of those outlets cover musical instruments and music-making products and services as a category. 

What they do cover are stories about interesting people doing interesting things, new forms of creativity, new genres or song trends, cultural trends, personal success stories, and business culture.

By priming cultural stories, your product becomes relevant to hundreds of other media outlets- Cultural Storytelling for Music Creation Tech Companies by Rock Paper Scissors, copyright 2023

By priming these types of cultural stories, your product becomes relevant to hundreds of other media outlets. 

In addition, cultural stories catch people looking for cool or interesting rather than for products. It’s the difference between hearing about a new song from a friend, rather than listening to a jingle on a TV commercial. Sure, you want to find people who are in buying mode. But you also want to become part of legends and folklore that gets repeated by people on the street, in the club, in school, and at work.

What’s Your Lil Nas X Moment?

If you’ve been paying attention to the emergence of music marketplaces for the last five years, you know the story of Lil Nas X. His song “Old Town Road” was the first song to take over TikTok’s soundtracks and then to create a stir on country music charts. But one sticky story that people loved to repeat was that he bought the banjo-infused beat from beats marketplace BeatStars, a company that in itself represented a larger movement in music: the emergence of music creators as a force to be reckoned with. BeatStars couldn’t have asked to be woven into a better cultural story. 

It’s not like Lil Nas X was the first artist to license a beat from BeatStars. But there are layers upon layers in this shining example of a BeatStars user: not only did “Old Town Road” become a hit; not only did it demonstrate the power of TikTok for music discovery; not only did the song represent an independent artist growth hacking his fame with perfect timing in his adoption of TikTok; but in addition, it showed how an independent beats producer got put on the map for innocently uploading a beat to a marketplace that got global fame. This gives other producers a credible reason to upload their beats to BeatStars and start a new revenue stream. 

And though BeatStars did not engineer this success story, they certainly benefited from it. And it demonstrates that storyfinding—the process of identifying success stories in the making—is a valuable pursuit. Because once you find that success story, there is an opportunity for your music creation tech company to be woven into the evolution of culture, music, and more.

As a PR firm that works in a variety of music tech verticals, we listen for success stories that help tell the stories of our music tech clients. Here are some examples to show you that you don’t need to have a full blown Lil Nas X moment to get some press that is not inherently product driven, but does increase your position in the market and raise awareness in less obvious press outlets.

Demonstrate Your Company’s Impact

Music creation tech companies have a ton of potential since their products are used by artists and producers who are constantly recording and releasing new songs and soundtracks. And because artists are culture creators. Here we have shown how companies that are not even providing physical products can find, crystallize, and amplify stories that weave these companies into cultural stories. 

What will your Lil Nas X moment be? Or better yet, how can you create a cadence of regular stories that demonstrate your company’s impact far beyond releasing a new product? Stories that weave you into everyone’s culture. Stories that show your mission and impact in ways far beyond a product demo or sales sheet. You are marketing a music company. And what is cooler than music, artists, and songs? You are the musical tool behind the trends. 

Your creativity unlocks artists’ creativity. Don’t miss this chance to stay a part of the story.

Your creativity unlocks artists' creativity. Don't miss this chance to stay a part of the story.- Cultural Storytelling for Music Creation Tech Companies by Rock Paper Scissors, copyright 2023

Find Out How

About Rock Paper Scissors:

Founded in 1999, Rock Paper Scissors, Inc. is a music tech PR firm composed of a diverse team of communicators, creatives, and business minds. We have represented thousands of projects from six continents. Our roster includes clients in music technology, music gear, B2B music agencies, music consumer products and apps, artist-facing and label services, music sync platforms, music AI, fintech for music, and much more.

Get in touch:

About Dmitri Vietze:

Dmitri Vietze

Born in Nashville, Dmitri moved to NYC as a teen where he busked in the subways while studying music at “the Fame High School” for Music and the Arts. After earning his business degree, he leaned into his entrepreneurial bent and launched rock paper scissors in 1999. His vision was to combine cutting edge technology and deep organic storytelling to help clients crystallize their missions in compelling ways and amplify them in innovative ways.

He continues to lead the company from music to tech and into other fields that are changing the world every day. When others told him that the company he envisioned would not succeed in college town Bloomington, Indiana, he took that as a challenge and has built a collaborative team that leans into the Midwestern ethic of hard work, warmth, and caring. Dmitri stays at the cutting edge of music tech innovation by hosting the weekly Music Tectonics podcast and the annual Music Tectonics conference. He can also be found speaking on stage at conferences ranging from SXSW to Music Biz on new approaches to publicity, innovation, and resourcefulness.


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