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Rethinking the Music Industry, Music & Technology

11:06 PMRachel Dely

I have come to the conclusion that the current music industry is very misunderstood... 

There is this idea that if you are apart of the music industry then you fit in this stereotypical box of being a performing artist, producer, artist manager, or working for a record label...something amongst those lines. Which in actuality is an outdated thought of what the industry is brought on by outsiders looking in and even to people involved in the industry.

"Outdated", how?

There've been major shifts in the industry which have completely turned around how it operates. However, the only one that tends to be highlighted and realized is the obvious shift that occurred in how we listen to music from cassette tapes, to CDs, to downloads/Mp3, and now to streaming. But, there's more to that...

There's been a major shift in not only how people consume music, but how people find out about music, how they react to music, how music is talked about, how music is marketed, all of that pours into the industry and sales.

The objective of make records, sell records what I've heard referred to as the "rock and roll method" is no longer, but its more so about making real meaningful connections with consumers. 

Acquiring the user base is the key objective to driving sales and the industry as a whole rather than selling records. 

The internet changed the game.

The internet changed everything, including the music industry.

95% of people get their music from the internet.

The movement of music to the internet opened up new elements to the industry.  Causing it to now deal with so many other industries it did not necessarily deal with so heavily before from digital media, engineering, tech, machine learning (which has newly come into play) and data science. Putting to rest the stereotypical image of cigar smoking record label execs. running the industry (sorry Clive Davis) but now introducing developers, analysts, engineers and tech savvy whiz's to the forefront.

                                                                                       But why is this?

Music and the internet created access to a plethora of new data that is viable to making the industry run today. Data that was not accessible and that was not necessary to acquire during the more "traditional" times.  Allowing music to be quantified and analyzed. 

Data thats better helps track listener preferences, better recommend songs, create and direct playlists and themed stations/radios.

Benefitting not only music streaming services but all major stakeholders to the industry giving
Record labels the chance to pinpoint their target audience and also track what listener preferences actually are to help better direct artist sales and contracts.

Music streaming services, the ability to track listener habits in order to push forth music listeners actually want to hear, as well as the ability for listeners to discover new music that fit their personal taste through audio recommendations and machine learning.

Listeners overall the ability to create real meaningful connections to music and access to more music we love to hear.

All in all, creating an interesting new eco-system.

So, do we bury and completely put to sleep the idea that artist managers, record producers, and record labels etc. run the industry. No...not necessarily but we definitely realize that there is more to it and incorporate the thought that music and technology have a beautiful partnership today.

I am fairly excited to see how the tech industry affects the music industry in the years to come and what the "next big shift" will be!

Below are some awesome computer software/tech companies I have my eye on currently doing innovative work in the music industry. Check them out!


Color and Express

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