All about Darren Hemmings ‘The Motive Unknown’ Podcast

The Motive Unknown Podcast, Berlin, Blackbird Punk, music industry, Music, Gin, Gin Recommendations, Aldi Oliver Cromwell Gin, gin, Darren Hennings, darren hennings

Darren Hemmings from the strategic digital marketing agency Motive Unkown started a podcast. It is all about the edge between the music industry, tech startups and social media.

Darren Hemmings discusses topics with a guest in an entertaining yet informative way. You quite feel like you’re in a pub with them after work. Having a chat about topics from everyday work. Well, they work together with clients such as Domino Records, artists like Run The Jewels or Alt-J. This every day is of course, to some extent, already a story for itself.

Let’s dive into episode nine. This episode was open for listeners questions. As well as it implied gin recommendations from Darren, who is known for his love to it. Some questions were asked humorously like: ‘Who is Becky with the good hair?’ (Beyonc√© reference). ‘Does true love wait?’ (Radiohead reference).

Who is Becky with the good hair?

However, most questions were clearly music industry related. For example, “windowing of streaming services“. That is when musicians are releasing an album and only make it available on premium streaming services. Only later making it available for freemium subscribers.

Other questions have been: “playlist plugging“. That is paying for getting your tracks included in Spotify’s editorial playlists. Or “SoundCloud Go, was that a soft launch?” I.e. a launch of new technology or service without any marketing about it.

Darren Hemmings takes his time to answer questions in the Motive Unknown Podcast

One listener asked a question about official artist apps and if they make sense.

Darren Hemmings and his co-moderator answered, saying that it is a good idea to drive people to a place where you own the data. Rather than using platforms where you don’t have control over your output.

But apps have natural limits within them. The music industry already tries to sell the artist material through all different channels.

Musician apps are difficult to achieve in the right way

An app store is a really huge and extensive space where a lot of different apps compete over the consumers’ attention.

The idea only makes sense when you are an already famous artist with a fan base with which you are holding strong communication.

Also, an app store is not necessarily filled with music fans but all sorts of consumers. So, the app needs to stand on its own feet as an app and not repeat the data that has already been put out on social media.

You actually could do amazing things with apps but that would be very expensive because you need to employ all different professionals such as developers for example.

Taylor The Creator is a good example of a successful app

Taylor The Creator is a good example. He already established himself as a media brand so his app works as a proper app on its own and let the fans consume the data or information from there.


However, one has to keep in mind that releasing an app is as complicated as releasing the original album or music.

Record Store Day

They also answered my question. That was ‘if they already have discussed this year RSD (Record Store Day)’.

They said that they don’t really have an opinion about Record Store Day. It has been stated that HMV wasn’t allowed to take part in this years RSD, because they are not been seen as indie enough.

That lead both moderators to make a point that it’s not Indie versus Major, in the music industry but that both sides are rather like yin and yang and that you need both.

They went on with a lovely recommendation of Gin, which included the cost-sensitive Aldi Gin ‘Oliver Cromwell’ as well as Waterloo Gin Texas and Monkey 47.

You can listen to all the episodes online!