Cherie Hu is creating a sandbox for investigating the future of music and technology
134
patrons
$1,528
per month
some FAQs:

WHO ARE YOU?

I'm Cherie Hu, a freelance writer, editor and podcaster focusing on the intersection of music and technology. That includes everything from major streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, to emerging music startups, to wider innovations like VR/AR, creative AI and smart speakers, to the myriad ways that artists are using technology to sustain their careers and engage with fans.

I write regular columns on these topics for Billboard, Forbes and Music Business Worldwide, with additional bylines in publications including Pitchfork, Variety, Rolling Stone, Goldthread and the Columbia Journalism Review, and have also spoken at over 25 conferences to date.

Since 2016, I've also been writing the email newsletter Water & Music, which currently reaches over 3,000 subscribers from all walks of life, including budding artists just starting their careers and presidents at major labels and tech companies. I've treated this newsletter as a sandbox for exploring big ideas behind the future of music; each issue features an exclusive, longform essay presenting an argument about recent industry developments, with the occasional hand-drawn visual (examples here and here), then invites readers to respond with their own feedback and ideas.

I'm grateful to have met so many incredible people through these exchanges, and am excited to expand on this journey with your help.

OK COOL, WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME?

UPDATE: Thanks to the incredible generosity of my Patreon supporters, I've been able to launch the Water & Music podcast! The podcast will serve as an ad-free audio companion to the eponymous newsletter that serves as a living archive of big ideas, conversations and debates in music and tech, featuring a curated selection of young leaders, innovators and thinkers from across the industry. You can subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, RadioPublic, Google Play, Overcast and many other of your favorite listening platforms—links to which are available here.

But I'm not just starting this Patreon to fundraise for the costs of running a newsletter and podcast and writing original work. First and foremost, I'm looking to better include readers in my writing and reporting process. Members will be able to vote on future topics I cover in my newsletter, get early sneak peeks at my upcoming articles, provide their perspective in my reporting and exchange feedback and ideas with me on the latest news. I've always sought to weave inclusive practices into how I put together my stories—be that calling out for sources on Twitter or starting an email exchange from my newsletter—and this will serve as an early experiment in giving that process more structure.

Secondly, I'm super excited to share a member-exclusive essay series on this page. The first exclusive series will be Method vs. Madness, in which I analyze a selection of academic papers and connect their bird's-eye-view theories with on-the-ground practices and case studies in the music business. To my pleasant surprise, there's significant demand for this kind of content; I've occasionally taken this approach in my newsletter, but am going to do it more regularly on this page starting at just $7/month. (The default email newsletter, hosted on Revue, will remain free to everyone.)

Last but not least, one important goal of mine is to allow my readers to connect not just with me, but also with each other. I love hearing about moments when people meet each other through an open question I post on Twitter, engage with each other online and then arrange to continue their conversations offline in person. Hopefully, this Patreon will be a similar connector for like-minded thinkers, innovators and just plain curious people in music, media and entertainment. I just launched a Water & Music Discord server exclusively for $7+/month patrons, and aim to pay someone to help me manage the channel and plan some dope virtual meetups and events.

Thank you so much for your support, and please feel free to email me at [email protected] with any other questions you have! :)
Tiers
Ripples
$1 or more per month

Thank you SO MUCH for supporting my work—I literally would not be where I am now without you, and every single dollar counts!


By choosing this tier, you will receive:

  • A guarantee that the Water & Music newsletter and other forthcoming media properties (e.g. the podcast) remain ad-free
  • My eternal gratitude <3
Waves
$3 or more per month

By choosing this tier, you will receive all the benefits in the previous tier, plus the exclusive opportunity to vote on my future newsletter and article topics. This tier will also get a collective shoutout at the top of each free Water & Music newsletter issue.

Shapers
$7 or more per month

By choosing this tier, you will receive all the benefits in the previous tier, plus exclusive access to:

  • Patreon-exclusive, longform essays about music, entertainment and technology—using current events to unpack trends that will define the next decade of the music industry
  • Early and behind-the-scenes looks at my articles and writing process
  • The Water & Music Discord server
Includes Discord rewards
Sleuths
$15 or more per month

By choosing this tier, you will receive all the benefits in the previous tier, plus exclusive access to recaps and takeaways from conferences and speaking engagements. Depending on my speaking and traveling schedule, these will most likely be delivered once or twice a month. The annual price of this tier costs less than a single one-day pass to many music conferences!

Includes Discord rewards
Benefactors
$40 or more per month

You are an incredibly generous human being!


By choosing this tier, you will receive all the benefits in the previous tier, plus:

  • Exclusive access to monthly online video hangouts, during which I will answer any questions you may have about the music business and/or the freelance-writing life
  • A direct shoutout at the top of the Water & Music newsletter issue thanking you for your support
Includes Discord rewards
Goals
$1,528 of $5,000 per month
When we reach $5,000 per month, WOW I'll essentially be making a full-time salary completely from reader support, allowing me to create fully independent work. After this point, there are many possibilities for how Water & Music can expand—more in-person events, physical magazines, an independent web platform... you, the supporters, can name it!
4 of 4
some FAQs:

WHO ARE YOU?

I'm Cherie Hu, a freelance writer, editor and podcaster focusing on the intersection of music and technology. That includes everything from major streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, to emerging music startups, to wider innovations like VR/AR, creative AI and smart speakers, to the myriad ways that artists are using technology to sustain their careers and engage with fans.

I write regular columns on these topics for Billboard, Forbes and Music Business Worldwide, with additional bylines in publications including Pitchfork, Variety, Rolling Stone, Goldthread and the Columbia Journalism Review, and have also spoken at over 25 conferences to date.

Since 2016, I've also been writing the email newsletter Water & Music, which currently reaches over 3,000 subscribers from all walks of life, including budding artists just starting their careers and presidents at major labels and tech companies. I've treated this newsletter as a sandbox for exploring big ideas behind the future of music; each issue features an exclusive, longform essay presenting an argument about recent industry developments, with the occasional hand-drawn visual (examples here and here), then invites readers to respond with their own feedback and ideas.

I'm grateful to have met so many incredible people through these exchanges, and am excited to expand on this journey with your help.

OK COOL, WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME?

UPDATE: Thanks to the incredible generosity of my Patreon supporters, I've been able to launch the Water & Music podcast! The podcast will serve as an ad-free audio companion to the eponymous newsletter that serves as a living archive of big ideas, conversations and debates in music and tech, featuring a curated selection of young leaders, innovators and thinkers from across the industry. You can subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, RadioPublic, Google Play, Overcast and many other of your favorite listening platforms—links to which are available here.

But I'm not just starting this Patreon to fundraise for the costs of running a newsletter and podcast and writing original work. First and foremost, I'm looking to better include readers in my writing and reporting process. Members will be able to vote on future topics I cover in my newsletter, get early sneak peeks at my upcoming articles, provide their perspective in my reporting and exchange feedback and ideas with me on the latest news. I've always sought to weave inclusive practices into how I put together my stories—be that calling out for sources on Twitter or starting an email exchange from my newsletter—and this will serve as an early experiment in giving that process more structure.

Secondly, I'm super excited to share a member-exclusive essay series on this page. The first exclusive series will be Method vs. Madness, in which I analyze a selection of academic papers and connect their bird's-eye-view theories with on-the-ground practices and case studies in the music business. To my pleasant surprise, there's significant demand for this kind of content; I've occasionally taken this approach in my newsletter, but am going to do it more regularly on this page starting at just $7/month. (The default email newsletter, hosted on Revue, will remain free to everyone.)

Last but not least, one important goal of mine is to allow my readers to connect not just with me, but also with each other. I love hearing about moments when people meet each other through an open question I post on Twitter, engage with each other online and then arrange to continue their conversations offline in person. Hopefully, this Patreon will be a similar connector for like-minded thinkers, innovators and just plain curious people in music, media and entertainment. I just launched a Water & Music Discord server exclusively for $7+/month patrons, and aim to pay someone to help me manage the channel and plan some dope virtual meetups and events.

Thank you so much for your support, and please feel free to email me at [email protected] with any other questions you have! :)

Recent posts by Cherie Hu

Tiers
Ripples
$1 or more per month

Thank you SO MUCH for supporting my work—I literally would not be where I am now without you, and every single dollar counts!


By choosing this tier, you will receive:

  • A guarantee that the Water & Music newsletter and other forthcoming media properties (e.g. the podcast) remain ad-free
  • My eternal gratitude <3
Waves
$3 or more per month

By choosing this tier, you will receive all the benefits in the previous tier, plus the exclusive opportunity to vote on my future newsletter and article topics. This tier will also get a collective shoutout at the top of each free Water & Music newsletter issue.

Shapers
$7 or more per month

By choosing this tier, you will receive all the benefits in the previous tier, plus exclusive access to:

  • Patreon-exclusive, longform essays about music, entertainment and technology—using current events to unpack trends that will define the next decade of the music industry
  • Early and behind-the-scenes looks at my articles and writing process
  • The Water & Music Discord server
Includes Discord rewards
Sleuths
$15 or more per month

By choosing this tier, you will receive all the benefits in the previous tier, plus exclusive access to recaps and takeaways from conferences and speaking engagements. Depending on my speaking and traveling schedule, these will most likely be delivered once or twice a month. The annual price of this tier costs less than a single one-day pass to many music conferences!

Includes Discord rewards
Benefactors
$40 or more per month

You are an incredibly generous human being!


By choosing this tier, you will receive all the benefits in the previous tier, plus:

  • Exclusive access to monthly online video hangouts, during which I will answer any questions you may have about the music business and/or the freelance-writing life
  • A direct shoutout at the top of the Water & Music newsletter issue thanking you for your support
Includes Discord rewards