News Take Episode 204: Navigating the Digital Media Transition: Lessons from the Music Industry

“Having very frequent, more positive and hopefully collaborative conversations with startups who want to use their catalog, having those conversations much,  much earlier on, and building out a long-term where they’re proactively pursuing those collaborations with mutually favorable terms, as opposed to ending up in a position where they have to be purely reactive and suing companies and people which definitely is not a good place to be in financially but also in terms of public perception.”

– Cherie Hu, Water & Music

Guest: Cherie Hu, Founder, Water & Music

How is the way the music industry and musicians are compensated similar to and different from the way publishers are compensated? What lessons has the music industry learned to help them better protect against unauthorized use of their content? How could web3/blockchain play a role in compensation models for the music and publishing industries? What are the potential roles AI could play in music creation and/or distribution? 

In this episode of News Take, Cherie Hu, founder of music collaboration and research firm Water & Music, joins News Take host Rebecca Frank for a fascinating discussion about how the music industry has navigated changes to the ways music is distributed and consumed. Hu draws parallels, as well as distinctions, between how musical content is protected and compensated, and those same aspects of publishing. She shares insights on how emerging technologies, including web3/blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) can be leveraged by content creators now and possibly down the road, and breaks down the two camps of AI users from a philosophical and business perspective. Finally, she touches on the work Water & Music is doing to bring new industry innovators together, as well as her take on trends in music innovation that translate to the publishing world.

Listen or download the audio file to listen offline:

Don’t forget to subscribe to the News Take podcast by clicking “Follow” and selecting your preferred podcasting platform, or click on your preferred platform: Spotify, Apple, Google.


Watch with video:

Speaker bio:

Cherie Hu is the founder of Water & Music, a research network focused on analyzing music and tech trends. Previously, Cherie penned hundreds of articles on music and tech as a freelance writer for publications including Billboard, Forbes, Pitchfork and Variety. She has spoken as an expert commentator on CNBC and SiriusXM Volume; as a guest lecturer at institutions such as Harvard University, NYU, Northeastern, and Berklee College of Music in Valencia; and spoken at over 30 conferences around the world.

Related links:

Water & Music

Watch the previous episode of News Take

View all episodes of News Take

Send us your suggestions

Send your suggestions for future News Take guests to Alliance VP, Research & Insights Rebecca Frank at

News Take Production Team:

Host and Executive Producer: Rebecca Frank, VP, Research & Insights, News/Media Alliance

Production Support, Editing & Distribution:

Georgi-Ann Clarke, Social Media & Content Manager, News/Media Alliance
Rachel Fox, Manager, Membership & Events, News/Media Alliance
Lindsey Loving, Director, Communications, News/Media Alliance

Audio & Video Engineer: Current Media Group

Back to top


News/Media Alliance Calls on FTC, DOJ to Investigate Google’s Misappropriation of Digital News Publishing, Stop Expansion of Generative AI Overviews Offering - Read more