Darren Hemmings

Managing Director
Motive Unknown

Motive Unknown is a strategic marketing consultancy founded by Darren Hemmings in 2011. With a strong music focus, the company has overseen the digital side of campaigns such as Alt-J’s Mercury Prize-winning “An Awesome Wave”, not to mention others for the likes of Leftfield, Moby, Jack Savoretti, Vance Joy and more.

In more recent years the company’s remit has broadened to also include broader services and companies around the music ecosystem, including the likes of Gramofon and Audeze Headphones as well as new streaming startup Psonar. The company also manages marketing and partnerships for the AIM Independent Music Awards, now moving into their fifth year.

Motive Unknown also now works closely with BMG, overseeing the digital strategy for all the company’s frontline campaigns as well as advising on broader strategy for the company as a whole.

In addition to running Motive Unknown, Darren also curates the Daily Digest, a newsletter that goes out to music industry professionals worldwide every weekday. More recently this has also expanded to include a podcast and The Extended Digest, home to articles from industry professionals.


  • We Need To Talk About Playlists
We Need To Talk About Playlists

14.00 – 14.45

Thursday, 14 Feb

Playlists are the modern consumption mechanism, somewhere between mix tapes and radio. Yet playlist placements are increasingly competitive, and some playlists are lengthening to meet demand, potentially diminishing their power. Do they drive meaningful artist discovery? Or do they dilute attention across many lesser known artists? Do consumers even remember the names of artists or songs? We need to talk about playlists.

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