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How tech continues to shape the world of music

Advancements in tech have a knack for disrupting the music industry. Even in recent history, music has its greatest metamorphosis when fueled by emerging technology. Today all you need is a cell phone and a laptop and you can be a producer, engineer, videographer, DJ and artist at the same time. (if you have the skill of course) This is only possible because the tech industry is constantly improving on old technologies making them simpler, smaller, and faster than they were before. For consumers, this has been always been a blessing, for artists and labels… Eh, not so much.

The World Wide Web

Let’s jump back to 1989 which brought us the now essential World Wide Web. Though this is far from the first technological advance to influence the industry (we’d have to go back to the 1800’s for that) this invention has arguably been the most influential to the industry on both the business and consumer ends of things. The World Wide Web decentralized how we send and receive information. Now, messages could travel thousands of miles with the click of a button. Artists would eventually be able to collaborate with each other no matter where they were on the planet. However, this opened the doors for what would be a bus load of trouble for the industry that no one foresaw.

MP3 files

In 1995 the world was introduced to the MP3.  An MP3 is a compression technique capable of shrinking audio files. (maniactools.com)This advancement in conjunction with the World Wide Web brought unprecedented change to the music industry. Now music could be downloaded onto any computer. Consumers were able to select the songs that they wanted rather than buying an entire album, and it was free. The creation of the MP3 file led to inventions like the iPod which allowed the consumer to carry around their own personal playlist. This sent the music industry into a whirlwind. Power hungry labels began to lose control (and money) as consumers were getting the music they wanted for nothing. It wasn’t until recently that the industry was able to bounce back and once again become profitable thanks to streaming.

 Blockchain technology

What is blockchain you ask? Why, my friend, blockchain is the future. The blockchain is essentially a database that maintains a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, secured from tampering and revision. The pioneers of this tech and those who advocate for it boast that it will be the savior for artists, writers, and producers whose royalties have not been tracked properly for years. Blockchain-based companies like Mycelia I predict will replace the outdated and ineffective tracking system that has plagued the pockets of creators thus far. Spotify, who fights lawsuits regularly for unpaid royalties, has recently acquired the blockchain based startup Medichan in order to solve their problems with attribution. This tech is the future and another true game-changer for the music industry.

Conclusion

The music industry has always been linked with tech. In recent years big tech companies like Amazon and Apple have got into the music game promising us more marriages between the two in the years to come. Artists and music professionals alike will have to learn to watch the tech industry as advancements there inevitably means a change in music. Having an eye toward the future will always create opportunities in the present. If you found this article helpful, please like and share to your social networks. If you have questions or anything you would like to add feel free to leave a comment and I will respond at my earliest convenience, Thank you.

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