Technology Changes Everything.

If there is one thing that has become quite obvious is that technology has the power to change everything. It has certainly transformed the music industry throughout the years! From the way we make music to the way we produce it. From the way we source music to the way we listen to it. It can be said that technology has affected the music industry in both positive and negative ways. The short clip above provides an excellent example of this.

If you were to type “technology and the music industry” into the multiple search engines that are available to us, you would soon discover that the majority of the articles out there focus on the negative effects technology has brought to the music industry. It is important to point out that technological advances have not only affected music but also publishing, television, radio, and the news. While it is true that perhaps technology has had a negative impact on the music industry (as well as other industries), there are many other changes that have been positive.

Today, I am choosing to focus on the positive as it is important to recognize favorable disruption. Let’s look at the short clip below.

Positive changes in the music industry (thanks to technological advances) include: consumers having access to music more than ever before, online music education availability, new musical instruments, access to digital tools (by both artists and consumers), artist collaboration increase, artistic control and independence, artist and fan communication/interaction via social media channels, crowd funding platforms, etc. All these changes continue to ultimately shape the music industry today.

Though there are many who feel nostalgic when thinking about the way the music industry used to be, it is important to appreciate the way the music industry is now. It will never be the way it used to be. In other words, it is important to see the good and bad (without specifically focusing on the bad). I am not saying the music industry is perfect. In fact, there are many things that could be improved. I am simply saying that technology should not to be seen as evil. It is important to embrace it and welcome the changes technological advances may continue to bring.

From Musician to Cultural Icon in a Technology Driven Age

Have you ever stop to think about what it would be like if the everyone would simply embraced this technology driven age we live in instead of fighting it so much?

Amanda Palmer showed the world the beauty of embracing the unknown. She went from musician to cultural icon when her Kickstarter campaign raised 1.2k!! Pretty impressive, right? Watch her TED talk below as it will help you understand exactly what I mean.

“Palmer is set to join Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails as the artists people mention when they talk about the new music business.” — Billboard

While everyone constantly takes the time to put down the online world, and artists like Taylor Swift oppose tech driven services like Spotify for her own personal reasons, Amanda decided to embrace it all. She strongly believed that a strong relationship with her fans is what the music journey should always be about, and emphasized that this technology driven age can allow us all to create deep connections if we are willing to ask.

Palmer has become the poster girl for dipping not only your toe, but your whole body, because you never really know what will happen. In her case, the road less traveled led her to find incredibly positive results. Her kickstarter campaign, TED talk, recently published book, and unique music have all had great success because Amanda took a chance to welcome the changes the technology driven age has introduced instead of questioning them.

Amanda was strategic in her approach though. She made sure to establish a strong fan base before using technology to her advantage. In fact, it is her strong fan base that helped her raised 1.2k via Kickstarter. She beautifully mastered “the art of asking” as she likes to call it. She turned to her fans for help her and they provided more help than she ever imagined. It is very exciting to learn about her story however, it is also important to understand that not everyone will be able to do what she did. Because truth be told, there is only one Amanda Palmer.

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80% of the crowd funding campaigns that manage to be successful only raise about $10,000. This, however, is $10,000 more that artists can receive because of the changes this technology driven age has introduced. Crowd funding is not a magic path to stardom or riches. Artists must work extremely hard for crowd funding campaigns to succeed. Crowd funding platforms and success stories like Amanda Palmer do create a wonderful point though. Technology is not always evil. Technology can be an incredibly good ally. It can allow artists to use the power of music combined with the power of fans to acquire additional funding. Changes like these are why technology continues to shape the music industry.

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The Music & Technology Relationship? It’s Complicated.

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There is no doubt that music and technology have continued to evolve both separately and together throughout the years. Technology has the power to seriously complement or hinder music. On the other hand, music has the power to help increase technology sales. Perhaps this all means that music and technology should simply work together as much as possible as opposed to against each other. Let’s take a look at some of the most recent news regarding the music and technology relationship…

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Apple recently confirmed a decrease in downloads. Maybe this is one of the reasons why Apple acquired Beats earlier this year. Using Beats, Apple can easily gain the kind of simplicity it has been craving in the music streaming sector. In fact, a good example of this can be the recent Southwest Airlines and Apple partnership agreement. Southwest Airlines now offers free music streaming thanks to Apple’s Beats music service!

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Streaming is definitely the way music is heard these days. It is no wonder that Apple is interested in improving their music streaming services and pricing as Spotify revenues rose in 2013 and the music service turned to profit. Spotify also launched a family plan with cheaper subscription options recently as well. Despite all its good news, Spotify was caught a bit off guard when Taylor Swift surprisingly pulled her music from them. It will be interesting to see if this will affect Spotify success.

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Pandora is now giving artists the data it stores from the audience members. However, Pandora is not the only one doing this. Both Spotify and The Next Big Sound have also taken the same initiative. Data enables artists to grow and enhance their careers in a proactive way. By better understanding the audience members, artists are be able to improve musical content they offer and better engage with their followers. It is obvious why data continues to become so important! These companies definitely want to stay ahead of the game by providing artists with this free data.

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Next, news regarding a touchy subject: Piracy! For those that are still trying to illegally download music, Google is now using its search data to point those users towards legal sources through ads whenever words like “free” and “download” are searched in the Google search engine. Piracy has been a continuous problem so it is good to see that Google is playing its part to help regulate music consumption. There are still a large debate questioning whether this approach is enough when it comes to dealing with this issues..

imagesYouTube plans to launch its own subscription service called MusicKey. This is not exactly new news as there have been talks about this for a while now. Although YouTube’s CEO stated she is positive about this subscription service, 25% consumers say they will never pay for a subscription service since they can already find all the music they want using YouTube.

Looking at all these news, it is clear that music and technology continue to be very much connected. Sometimes it can be a complicated relationship. Music and technology have become so closely connected that it makes the relationship an incredibly powerful tool though. Technology alone and music alone cannot succeed in saving the music business. It is by coming together that this relationship can become less complicated as it provides the millennials, those tech-empowered fans, with the ability to become closer to the content they love, align with their socioeconomic surroundings, and follow the new cultural norms. This is what should save the music industry in the future.

To view the article that served as inspiration for this blog post, visit this link – http://blog.midem.com/2014/11/news-review-technology/#.VFoBJZV0zmI

Tech Culture: Put Your Phones Away!

Imagine you are going to see a concert you have anxiously waited to attend… now imagine you have to disconnect yourself from the world… by this I mean – no updating your status on twitter, no posting videos on Facebook, no uploading photos on Instagram, no texting, no calling – nothing! You will actually have to experience what is like to be completely unplugged and enjoy the musical experience during that moment in time. Sound crazy??

In reality, it is not that crazy. This is actually what Yondr now delivers. Yondr is a smartphone case that entraps your mobile device during live events to prevent texting, calling, app checking, video recording, taking photos, etc. It requires audience members to be present.

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Welcome to the future! A future where such things need to be created in order for us to go back to the basics… being present and enjoying real life moments without silly distractions. Technology allows us to stay connected 24/7 but is it ruining our experiences? Both music artists and venues are supportive of Yondr. There is a time and place for technology… it is clear that it should not be 24/7. Yondr wants to show audience members how powerful a moment can be when we are not so focused on documenting it or broadcasting it.

So, Is Yondr out to take away our technological rights? Not at all. Yondr is not anti-technology. It simply seeks to encourage us all to truly experience concert and live events the way they were designed to be experienced. To really listen the music and pay attention to everything that is going on in our surroundings. There should be a time when it is ok to unplug… to go “off the grid”… After all, you have anxiously waited for that amazing concert for weeks!! Might as well put away your phone and enjoy the show.

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To learn more about Yondr and view the article that served as inspiration for this blog post, visit this link – http://www.cnet.com/news/phone-crazed-audiences-and-fed-up-musicians-yondr-is-on-the-case/

BioBeats: Changing the Game

Entertainment & Health Care coming together as one in a very cool way.

I’d like to introduce you to BioBeats: an entertainment and health care company that focuses on using technology and adaptive media to positively impact consumers health and wellness. They use experiments in the form of apps that respond to users, collect data, and encourage a healthier lifestyle.

We live in a world where our devices and media reach to us. We believe it should be a conversation. – BioBeats

Two experiments/apps are currently available: (1) Pulse: A mobile application that generates music from the users hearts and (2) BioMuse: A mobile application that enables your body to search for music that fit the users current moods. BioBeats not only focuses on helping us feel better but also on making the journey fun and entertaining. This is simply awesome.

To learn more about BioBeats, visit the company’s website – http://biobeats.com/

The Next Big Thing: Wearable Devices??

Wearable TechHow many of you love convenience? There seems to be a new trend on the rise: wearable devices!! We have already seen wearable devices such as the FitBit or the Apple Watch gaining popularity. This is due to the fact that consumers love new technology that have a coolness factor as well as promote convenience. Think about the way we all carry our mobile devices everywhere we go. This is exactly what is expected to happen with wearable devices in the future. The main difference between mobile devices and wearable devices will be the fact that wearable devices will continue to evolve making them effortless to use therefore making them more attractive than the regular mobile devices. Take a look at the chart below…

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Recently done research has shown that consumers are very much interested in these wearable devices. The chart depicts the multiple devices that can be developed based on the consumers wants/needs. For this same reason, more and more are interested in learning about this trend on the rise. It is important to understand how these wearable devices will influence demand as well as how they will ultimately affect our lives – whether that be for the better or worse. The most important question in my head is… how will these wearable devices influence the music industry in the future?

If you would like more information on this topic, check out this link. There you can find the article that served as inspiration for this blog post – http://blog.leweb.co/2014/10/wearable-computing-ready-to-take/#.VFaXzJV0xla

The Tyranny of Choice

Have you ever noticed the immense amount of music that technology allows us to listen to? There are so many choices that it would be impossible to listen to every track out there in one lifetime. This is what a fellow blogger likes to call “The Tyranny of Choice”.  In his blog, he points out simple facts – making relevant points regarding the future of music.

There is a noticeable imbalance in the music industry. There a numerous music services world wide. These music services are focusing on a small percentage of consumers as opposed to targeting a much larger market share. Streaming plays an important rule in the music industry and it has caused cd and download sales to decline. By targeting that small percentage of consumers, music streaming services are simply taking the downloading money and converting it into streaming money. This means the consumers are switching but not spending more. Larger target market is not necessarily being considered meaning there is just revenue transition rather than revenue growth in the music industry.

According to fellow blogger, there are three things to focus on that are predicted to shape the future of digital music – (1) Consumer Behaviour (2) Tech Companies Strategies (3) Income Distribution. Consumer behavior of the next music generation listeners and not the generation transitioning from downloads or cd’s will be the ones music services need to pay attention to. By understanding the next generation, the music services will be able to properly grow and evolve. Technology companies such as Apple, Amazon, and Google control digital music in one way or another. For this same reason, others such as labels and producers can focus specifically on the music while these companies strategize to focus on their own established goals which mostly involve product/service sales. It is a win-win. Finally, artists and songwriters have begun to pay more attention to income distribution. Although it may not happen overnight, the pressure to more evenly distribute this income is an important movement.

Music listeners may not be expected to spend money on downloads or cd’s in the future, however they are expected to listen to the numerous music choices available to them more than ever before. The Tyranny of choice will influence the way we all listen to music. This provides artists and labels with new opportunities though. Because of “the tyranny of choice” technology has created and will continue to create in the future, artists and labels must come together to create partnerships that will allow them to sell an experience – an unique music experience that they can both sell to the next generation listeners. To provide unique music experiences to listeners is what music has always been about so to focus on this same principle in the future despite how technology continues to change our lives is truly a beautiful thing.

To read the blog post and see charts that served as inspiration for this blog post, follow this link – http://musicindustryblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/digital-ascendency-the-future-music-forum-keynote/

Does Your Next Song Have “Hit” Potential?

Today I ran into an article that introduced me to “HitLogic” – a software that focuses on analyzing music to predict its “hit” potential! Now this is one of those moments when I absolutely love technology. As a performer, having access to such service provides valuable insights. As an artist manager or producer, having access to such service provides valuable insight too. It is basically a win-win tool.

It is technological advances like these that make me appreciate technology. Whether “HitLogic” actually works or not, it is nice to know that there are now resources easily available to positively aid musicians careers.

For more information on “HitLogic”, visit this article – http://www.musicradar.com/us/news/tech/hitlogic-half-price-reports-for-all-607847

Musical Nostalgia

I purchased my first CD at a very young age. Holding it in my hands and knowing it in was mine was pretty neat. Playing it over and over again until I knew all the lyrics to every song was an even better feeling. Those days seem to be over though. Technology has provided us all with convenient ways to listen to our music now. Every day it seems as though there is new evidence pointing to the fact that streaming is the evident future in the music industry. Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the effortless convenience that is opening up my Spotify account… listening to my favorite artists as well as easily discovering new ones! Is streaming changing the way we relate to music though?

I am sure I am not alone in saying that there is a certain beauty in owning music from that band you have followed and loved for years. Then again, there is also the music quality you can hear in say a vinyl than you could never hear while streaming that contagious song you can’t get enough of. It is true that streaming exposes us all to unlimited amounts of music we would probably never had discovered or even had the ability to purchase (even if we wanted to). As music consumers… or simply music lovers… we are able to appreciate the technological advances that make life a little easier however, every now and then we are entitled to feel a little nostalgia about the good old days and questioning how streaming is changing our musical experiences.

Article link served as inspiration. Read “Why I Rushed Out To Buy An Apple Classic: Soon It’ll Be Too Late” as it will surely take you for a stroll down your own memory lane. – http://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-blogs/why-i-rushed-out-to-buy-an-apple-ipod-classic-soon-itll-be-too-late

Music Streaming Vs. Music Downloading

Music streaming has changed the music industry. It is easy to recognize that music streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora, or YouTube continue to overpower downloading services such as iTunes or even the more physical music goods such as CD’s and Vinyl. This year, streaming has become even stronger and more apparent within the industry. Although many streaming services have the free subscription option, consumers are now willing to pay for the actual premium subscription option in order to have less advertisements. While physical music sales and downloads continue to weaken, it is only fair to wonder how long it will take for music streaming to take over completely the music industry? It would also be fair to wonder if the beauty of actually owning music from our favorite artists will disappear with time? It will be interesting to see how music streaming will monetize its services so that everyone involved, artists included, can benefit? It is important to ask such questions as both consumers and simply music lovers. For now, we can only wait to see how streaming (and any other technological advances) will continue affecting music in the near future.

Article below provides recent numbers and facts in relation to the same thoughts mentioned above – http://www.cnet.com/news/streaming-music-swiping-sales-from-music-dowloads/