D.A. Wallach was one of the first few thousand people to use Facebook, and he’s been a social media pioneer for artists ever since. His band, Chester French, was discovered by Pharrell Williams and Kanye West while at Harvard University. Since then, the duo has taken off. Wallach has already toured with the likes of Lady Gaga, Blink 182, and Weezer. We caught up with him in his hometown of Milwaukee before he hopped on a plane for London to talk about how social media, and more specifically Spotify, is changing the game for musicians. In addition to making music, Wallach is also the official “Artist in Residence” at Spotify, a digital music service that allows music lovers to tap into their favorite music for free and then share it across social media platforms.
As an early adopter of Facebook, Wallach says that social media has been interesting to him because it gives bands a way to communicate directly with fans. Spotify, he says, takes that a step further and allows us “to communicate with our fans, specifically using the music that we make or listen to. For the fan or the listener on a service like Spotify, the social integration is an amazing part of the experience because it allows you to discover music through your friends instantly and to listen to that music.” As an advocate for the creative community, Wallach says that one reason why Spotify’s model is so compelling is that it balances “the interests of the consumer and the artist and the right’s holders that is sustainable.”
Why is Spotify any better than other subscription music services like Rdio or MOG? Wallach says that Spotify “is monetizing the listening that’s occurring over your music over its lifetime. Rather than get paid for just single download or album, you’re getting paid every time someone listens to your music.” Over time, Wallach believes that’s a better deal for artists. Wallach is still active on Facebook and has over 1 Million Twitter Followers. He’s using that social media currency to spread the word about Chester French, his own music, and his friends’ music.