Andreea Magdalina of Mixcloud and on supporting women in the music business and the industry’s shifting powerbase

Woman in headphones

Andreea Magdalina coordinates community development and promo at Mixcloud, an online streaming service for DJs, radio presenters, podcasters and their fans. She also runs a group for women who work in music called According to Twitter, she’s addicted to yogurt and is always nice to people.

Andreea Magdalina

Andreea Magdalina

 “…Good things happen to good people. It’s something I find myself saying every time I meet someone new, almost like a mantra. If you work hard, stay good to yourself and to others, there’s little that can go wrong. And if things do slip up, it happens so that you learn a lesson and become a better person…”

Andreea, we love your love of all things media. Please can you tell us about your career to date?

As I was finishing high school I was preparing heavily for exams to get into law school. Right about a month before the deadline I got scared at the thought of knowing exactly what the next decade in my life was going to look like and I changed my mind. I decided to leave Romania and applied for a degree in multimedia at University of Westminster in London instead. It was probably the best decision in my life.

The first year was tough, I was only 19 and completely on my own in a much bigger city than where I’d come from. My journey was in full swing: I went from bartender to babysitter to intern to work in tech, and now music tech. I’m a living proof that having faith in yourself topped with hard work gets you places.

How are new services like Mixcloud disrupting traditional business models and how do consumers benefit?

The reason why I wanted to join Mixcloud in the first place is because I truly believed in their vision. I still do.

We’re a five year old tech company that is still 100% independent, which is quite rare in the start-up world. That meant that I had the opportunity to work very closely with the founders on a product that, as a team, we all truly believed in.

Mixcloud was born out of a desire to help people discover music they love. It was built both with the listener and the artist in mind, which is why the first couple of years were spent setting up the legal framework in a time when no one wanted to deal with music copyright.

The team was then able to focus on the product and now we feel very confident in what we built. We’re part of a disruptive wave in the music industry, when consumers are shifting from owning music to streaming it, and this is very exciting for us.

We’re here to stay.

What trends to do you foresee on the horizon in the music business?

The industry has massively decentralised, with the power moving from major record labels into the hands of the artist. This was really powerful and has created a window of opportunity for a lot of talented musicians.

It also means there is a lot more noise out there now, and that it’s in the hands of the independent curators (alongside algorithms) to highlight the very good from the average. The most influential people with such roles, albeit not the first ones, are managers and so I foresee management companies becoming the new labels.

The next big thing will be a Google-like company who will have access to all sorts of social data that will allow them to predict future trends. Personally, I really hope a new Internet wave will crash it quickly, if so.

Please can you tell us about and why you set it up? came out of a desire to share the love.

I came across amazing people, ideas and opportunities since I started the new job. At the same time I kept noticing there aren’t a lot of girls in the music game – I personally still am the only female employee – and that whenever I found a likeminded woman it felt like we clicked instantly.

As time went by it became increasingly difficult to manage all these conversations independently and I realised it could all be so much easier if we had a shared space to communicate and avoid forwarding emails and / or irrelevant cc’ing. I was already part of Ada’s List, which is a similar group for women in tech, and so all I had to do is to set up one for us.

It started really small, sharing it with friends in the industry and people I enjoyed working with. Everyone must have found it really useful because the word spread and four months later we’re 150 ladies strong. We share anything from job offers, interesting reading material, projects worth checking out, new music, help needed etc. It’s just useful.

What are your tips for women who are looking to get into the music industry?

Good things happen to good people.

It’s something I find myself saying every time I meet someone new, almost like a mantra. If you work hard, stay good to yourself and to others, there’s little that can go wrong. And if things do slip up, it happens so that you learn a lesson and become a better person.

What is next for you, Mixcloud and and how can our readers get involved?

2015 will be focused on growth, on all counts.

This past year was incredible in terms of starting new projects and now it’s time to nurture them. I set myself a new challenge by moving to Los Angeles to do some business development for Mixcloud, and off the back of it I’m planning to grow the community as well. (To get involved, please see the link below.)

The end goal is to build something solid and long-lasting that the world will benefit from. My strength is in the people I love and in the people I love putting in touch, so the future is all about bringing more and more of them together to create something beautiful.

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