Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Future Of Music

In the 90’s, video killed the radio star. Right now, digital tech is doing a number on whole sections of the traditional, too-stuck-in-their-ways-to-change music industry. Digital, then social, and now mobile media has shifted the power away from big corporations (like the now defunct HMV) and given it back to the fans. For the music biz, thanks to iTunes, Pandora, Spotify and YouTube, Darwinism is in digital flight.

I talk about the Age of “Now”, and music is at the heart of this super shift. Tunes on the device you want, when you want, where you want, how you want, at a price you can believe in – all this is the way it was meant be. It’s a zone where the most rabid fans can discover dozens of new bands every week, share them with their friends in real-time and move on to the next big thing – all for the price of a monthly Spotify subscription. Never mind the amped opportunity for anyone to become a musician in these digital days.

For professionals in the music industry, it’s quite the challenge. Nothing is like it was 10 short years ago, and every time things seem to settle down, a new technology shuffles the deck. For record execs (the one’s that still exist!), aspiring musicians and brands, it’s about getting in sync, joining the conversation, and answering that question of audience questions: How will you improve my life?

The more we have quantity, the more we want quality. The personal ‘my way’ music gig seems set to continue, from music based on your location or current actions (e.g. Songza/Project Now from Reality Jockey) to music based on your heartbeat, and beyond. Taking a bath? We know what you wanna hear. Working out? Here’s some heavy metal to jam to. Rainy in New York eh - how about some Coldplay? Know how you feel, boom!

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