Water & Music

is creating the innovator's guide to the music business

Select a membership level


per month
By choosing this tier, you will receive:
  • A guarantee that all Water & Music materials remain ad-free.
  • Access to a members-only Discord server, where we discuss all things music and tech and host weekly audio hangouts to unpack the latest industry trends.
  • Complimentary access to Water & Music's archives from November 2016–April 2019.
  • My eternal gratitude <3
Includes Discord benefits


per month
By choosing this tier, you will receive all the benefits in the previous tier, PLUS:
  • Exclusive essays on music and tech trends.
  • Exclusive databases of music-tech companies that I compile for my own research.
  • Conference recaps.
Includes Discord benefits


per month
By choosing this tier, you will receive all the benefits in the previous tier, PLUS exclusive updates on Cherie's upcoming book about artists who treat their careers like startups.

This will include but not be limited to:
  • Syntheses of interesting research papers and other resources I incorporate into the book.
  • Previews of interviews with book subjects.
  • Overall reflections on the book-writing process.
Includes Discord benefits



About Water & Music

some FAQs:


Water & Music is the innovator's guide to the music business. We consist of an independent newsletter, research hub and community forum dedicated to unpacking the fine print of commercial, technological and cultural change in the industry. The newsletter reaches over 12,000 free subscribers and 1,500 paying members of all career stages across the worlds of music, film, fashion, advertising, gaming, investment banking, venture capital and more, and was recently featured on Patreon's blog.

Unlike most legacy trade publications, we focus on breaking perspectives, not just news. Our editorial guarantee is that each story we publish provides readers with an eye-opening angle on the future of the music business, backed by original reporting and analysis that you won't find elsewhere.

We have consistently been early to analyze, report on and critique key trends impacting the music business today, including but not limited to:

Water & Music is run by Cherie Hu, a writer and researcher who has been covering the intersection of music, technology and business for five years. That intersection spans everything from major streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, to the role of streaming and social-media platforms in music marketing and artist branding, to early-stage startups and cutting-edge applications of artificial intelligence, mixed reality and other tech paradigms to all facets of the music industry. Cherie has written hundreds of articles on these topics for publications including Billboard, Forbes, Music Business Worldwide, NPR, Resident Advisor, Pitchfork, Variety and the Columbia Journalism Review, and has also spoken at over 30 conferences to date.

Thanks to the generous contributions of Patreon members, Cherie is now able to work on Water & Music full-time, and is excited to continue expanding on this ecosystem with your help.


By becoming a paying member of Water & Music, you'll get access to a wide range of knowledge- and community-based benefits.

Every paying member gets access to a closed Discord server, where we share and discuss the latest music-tech news and trends — and the occasional off-the-cuff music memes and recommendations — in a focused, off-the-record environment. Many of the most active members of the server are music-tech operators themselves, and are behind many of the companies you read about in the music-industry media.

All paying members also get access to regular audio hangouts with Cherie and occasional guest speakers, in which we unpack a select number of industry trends and get to network with each other face-to-face.

Exclusive content is also a significant aspect of this membership. We publish several exclusive essays on music and technology trends every month, as well as exclusive databases of music, tech and entertainment companies that we compile for our own research purposes. This content is available to all $7+/month members.

In addition, Cherie is writing a book about music and entrepreneurship, and $15+/month members will have exclusive access to book research updates and chapter previews. Think about it as a completely independent, crowdsourced book advance.


Your money will go towards:
  • Keeping one of the music industry's leading newsletters and media operations fully independent and ad-free.
  • Expanding Water & Music's team and editorial coverage, including the hiring of staff writers, columnists and freelancers, with a focus on underrepresented voices and perspectives in music media.
  • Expanding Water & Music's future programming, including virtual and in-person events series and multimedia projects like videos and podcasts (this goes hand-in-hand with expanding staff).
  • Growing your own understanding and awareness of the latest music-industry trends.

Thank you so much for your support, and please feel free to email Cherie directly at [email protected] with any other questions you have. :)
1,000 - reached! patrons
When we reach 1,000 members, I'll have the budget to launch an educational arm for Water & Music — comprising a series of online, small-group modules dedicated to studying specific aspects of music and tech in a more focused, intensive environment.
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