Digital Dialogue

Digital Dialogue is an interview/guest-blog series presented by Byta, and written by friends of Byta. Exploring niche, behind-the-scenes topics within the digital realm of the music ecosystem, Digital Dialogue presents readers with insights into challenges, successes and passion topics in the day-to-day life of those working deep in digital.

Lyrics are Providing New Methods to Interact with Music – Marco Paglia (Musixmatch)

Lyrics are Providing New Methods to Interact with Music – Marco Paglia (Musixmatch)

Marco Paglia

Marco is the Chief Product Officer of Musixmatch - the world’s leading music data company. Musixmatch's mission is to provide data, tools and services that allow the experience of music to be enriched across the whole world.

Previous to his current role at Musixmatch, Marco has worked on product and design teams at Uber, YouTube, Google, Nokia and more.

"Lyrics are a must-have feature in any musical experience today. It opens up new creative possibilities, empowers songwriters and artists, and creates a more engaging and personalised listening experience for fans."

Who are you? Where do you work?

Marco Paglia, Chief Product Officer at Musixmatch. Based in Bologna, Italy.

What are you currently listening to?

Tycho. I discovered him when I was living in the Bay Area (he is from Sacramento), it helps me focus and my son (who is 12) loves him.

Give us a small insight into your daily routine…

I head product at Musixmatch. My routine is working with the team in building great software. It’s a mix of creative work, planning, strategy and focus on execution.

Any new developments or challenges in your role?

I can’t believe that only 4 years ago to do a group video call you had to use Houseparty (rest in peace)! Communication technology has improved so much over the last few years, and every software has become collaborative. It’s making working in a hybrid location not only easier, but possible.

I’m particularly excited about how AI will accelerate product development and innovation. Anything low-level, routine-based will be taken care of by our smart assistant, so that we can all focus on what makes people special: creativity (AI will generate, and we will create, you know what I mean?).

Lyrics are Providing New Methods to Interact with Music:

I didn’t. Before joining Musixmatch, I had no idea about how much work goes behind serving a lyric to a consumer: it literally takes a village, and that village is the Musixmatch community. Over 80M music lovers that every day contribute globally to creating what has become the largest music dataset in the world. Today we are talking about more than 10 million lyrics transcribed and translated in over 80 languages, and counting. How cool it is to work on a service that is used by literally everyone in the world!

These are not just plain lyrics. The experience of checking lyrics has evolved, and they are today presented in sync with the music. To help people follow or sing along with the music, lyrics need to be time-syncronized – line-by-line, word-by-word and even letter-by-letter. This additional metadata has opened up new possibilities for enriching the listening experience, which today can be enjoyed on pretty much every music service today. Personally speaking, I like how tapping on a particular lyric line let you jump right to the part of the song you want to listen to. Time-synced lyrics are providing new ways to interact with the music, and – being a user interface designer myself – I love it!

Creators have embraced this ecosystem, too. Lyrics aren’t just the words for the song, they’re the store window to a new audience that can break an artist or a song, and understanding how to utilize them is key for every artist wanting to make a deeper connection with their fans in the modern music industry. 

This trend probably started when Instagram integrated with Musixmatch lyrics API. At that point it became instantly clear that lyrics had become a powerful way to communicate – like sharing a Frank Sinatra quote on an Instagram story when in New York, for example –  and a fantastic asset for artists and songwriters for sharing their songs on social media.

That’s why creator tools have more recently become a major focus for our product team, as we have seen an ever growing audience of artists and songwriters who want to do more with their lyrics.

To start, we have recently launched a brand new suite of tools for professionals, Musixmatch Pro, where every music professional – from songwriters, to producers, to representative and managers – can create claim their personal profile, take ownership of their tracks, and distribute lyrics and additional metadata on all music streaming platforms and social media.

It’s not just lyrics. Songs can also be tagged with information such as translations, moods, genres, contributors, tempo, credits, instruments, and structure –  creating a vast network of interconnected songs that can be explored and enjoyed in a myriad of ways, ready for the next step of music interactivity. This data can enable user experiences like jumping right to the chorus of a song, or immediately identifying who is singing at a particular moment. 

Another way in which all this information will come together, is on a new product we are working on that I’m very, very excited about: Lyric Videos. Coming up this month, this new product is going to empower artists to create amazing videos using their lyric data and a bit of AI magic dust, in just one click. 

Given the increasing importance of being visual with your music, lyric videos are an accessible, personalized and easy way to create engaging visual assets for any audience. That’s why we are super excited about this project: we think that adding ways to be more expressive with lyrics will allow artists to experiment with new ways of expressing themselves and telling stories, and fans to explore these songs in ways that were never possible before, diving deeper into the lyrics and discovering new layers of creativity.

Lyrics are a must-have feature in any musical experience today. It opens up new creative possibilities, empowers songwriters and artists, and creates a more engaging and personalised listening experience for fans. With the power of community and state-of-the-art AI tools, we can continue to enrich the world of music and unlock its full potential. Creators can kick off by taking control of their lyrics globally, now.

Where should readers go to find out more? Any further reading or digital gurus to recommend?

Head straight to Musixmatch Pro: about.musixmatch.com/pro

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