If we’ve learned anything over the last year, it’s that technology has the power to transform, influence and shape entire industries with the latest tools and resources. While the pandemic completely turned the music industry on its back, technology became its saving grace to show us all our future possibilities.

From virtual concerts to emerging platforms, the music industry was under pressure to still deliver entertainment, and innovative tech made sure that happened. Some of the best things birthed out of the pandemic stemmed from tech startups, apps and social media — including things like Verzuz and hybrid awards shows. And what’s better, Black leaders and changemakers were at the center of it all.

To close out Black Music Month, we’re highlighting some revolutionary Black-owned companies that are shifting the way the industry will operate in years to come.

Check out some of the hottest tech innovations that the music industry is betting on to shape its future.

Music Breakr

Music Breakr is a music app that gives power back to artists by allowing them to have monetary control over their own musical material. Founded by four Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumni — Ameer Brown, Anthony Brown, Rotimi Omosheyin and Dan Ware — Music Breakr is a tech-enabled music promotion marketplace that’s helping break new music across digital outlets in an effort to democratize the industry and get artists the royalties they deserve.

To top it off, the app recently partnered with Rolling Loud to give artists an opportunity to perform original music at the Miami 2021 festival alongside headliners Travis Scott, Post Malone, and A$AP Rocky.


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The opportunity gap in the entertainment industry for content creators often keeps them out of the loop, but music discovery and fan engagement app Indie was made to help independent artists, big-name brands and music fans. The app — currently in beta testing — wants to create a user-friendly multidirectional marketplace to generate more opportunities for those in the industry who get overlooked and excluded due to gatekeeping.


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The Digilogue

The Digilogue is a music and tech platform that merges community and education together to impact the global music industry. Started by co-founder Drew de Leon back in 2016, the industry vet has used his experience to create a tech-based solution that’s generating more networking opportunities and tools to help people navigate the music industry. In August, the platform will be celebrating five years of helping to shape the music industry.


As we’ve seen over the last year, no longer do live concert experiences require you to actually attend them in person. Thanks to music app Goghnow, its platform allows users to book their live music performances on-demand to allow fans to bring music from some of their favorite artists directly to them.

The app provided a prime opportunity for artists who could not go on tour during the pandemic to stay employed, and now it’s changing the way musicians and fans enjoy live music.


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Last year, the music industry found all kinds of new ways to cash in on entertainment experiences, paving the way for platforms like #BeApp to launch.

The digital platform is striving to create new ways for people to livestream their favorite music artists and concerts no matter where they are. So far, artists like DJ Khaled, Lil Yachty, Benny the Butcher and plenty of other big names in the industry have joined the app.


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Healthy Hip-Hop

Ever wondered if there was a better kid-friendly way to educate children through Hip-Hop? Well say hello to Healthy Hip Hop — an interactive app that’s improving student-learning environments and classroom engagement by merging tech, education, music, and cultural relevance together.

Self-referred to as the “Sesame Street of the 21st Century,” co-founders Roy Scott and Wes Smith want to use the app and Hip-Hop’s influence to become the “Urban Disney” for Black and brown kids to lean on with their schooling.


Deepr® is an Atlanta-based music startup that describes itself as the “future of music and the power of innovation.” The company was initially launched to highlight the work of creators and people behind-the-scenes in the music industry, who are often overlooked as the key to unlocking new music discoveries.

The “Shazam meets IMDB for music” platform is hoping to bring about change in the industry by shifting the way listeners learn about and listen to music. To support its efforts, the startup recently launched a WeFunder campaign in honor of celebrating Black Music Month.


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Ode Audio

Regional odes to music have a cultural sense of pride attached to them in the Black community, and Ode Audio is both a tribute and answer to uplifting our music. Not only does the platform — short for “our digital entertainment” audio — wish to spotlight the magic behind Black music, it also hopes to shed light on our culture as a whole through radio, podcasts and other areas as well.

According to its website, the “radio and digital music app” has a mission to “showcase Black culture, expression, entertainment and information worldwide.”


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The Labz

Like many companies amid the pandemic, The Labz — originally a platform designed to help artists with multimedia content — pivoted its business model to become a full-fledged interactive virtual event platform. As interest in the idea rose, founder Farah Allen discovered that The Labz could be a very helpful tool as we move into a technologically-advanced future in music and entertainment.

After reportedly partnering with production company Level Forward for a $1.3 million investment, the startup established a plan to continue developing and expanding services on its virtual events platform that could prove to be a valuable asset to the industry.


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Emerging music technology platform Trac launched late last year with a mission to put recording artists in charge of their own careers. Unlike the traditional ways that major record labels have largely controlled the music industry, this startup wants to flip the script to make independent artists the industry’s new drivers.

The company claims that it’s “challenging independent artists to sign themselves” and “be their own label” to avoid getting stuck in contracts that “bind them into multi-year recoupment obligations and prohibits them from owning their masters.” Ownership is the new trend now, especially in the Black community, and Trac wants to give artists unlimited music distribution and marketing services to offer them complete creative control of their work.


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