Happy World Music Day people! Every year on this day, the world celebrates the beauty of music and everything around it. This is what we’re doing this year at Loudest.in! We try our best to highlight the happenings of the music business and technology so in theme with World Music Day, here’s a list of the Greatest Tech Moments of 2018:
SPOTIFY GOING IN BIG!
This year, we saw Spotify (our favourite streaming service) go through many interesting things but the biggest thing for them in 2018 year so far has been going public! Spotify officially went public on April 3rd at a whopping $30 Billion dollars! Spotify’s growth has helped the overall music business recover from its own years of decline. Music sales in the U.S. alone rose 16.5% to $8.7 billion, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Their paid music subscriptions also topped $4 billion. Whilst they have been questioned on their policy towards paying artists and their current situation in India, a streaming service going public and being valued at such a high level is certainly going to impact the Music Industry in a big way!
BLOCKCHAIN IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY
You all know about Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency don’t you? Whilst Bitcoin had seen a lot of popularity in 2017, it has in a sense been luke warm after the bubble crash in late 2017. But the interesting thing happening since then has been the introduction of blockchain in the music industry, to make sure that all the business can be handled properly and there isn’t any dirty business. Whilst this idea has been floating around for a while, there haven’t been many actual renditions of this idea into a product. BUT WAIT! Here’s where ‘Choon’ comes in! Choon is essentially a streaming service (off the likes of Distrokid, CD Baby) but the difference between Choon and any other streaming service is that it is backed by and uses the Ethereal Blockchain to distribute money between band members and other parties equally. There’s no way you’re getting taken advantage of in such a system. This only makes the whole conversation of introducing Blockchain in the Music Industry interesting. In a post-label world where anyone can make and put out music, the Blockchain economic model could actually help musicians to a level that has never been seen before.
THE ENTRY OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE!
The subject of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and robots has been talked about strongly for quite some time now. It swings from the opinion of it being the technology that saves human kind or just becomes Skynet and takes over the world. It is not an easy subject to tackle or talk about, especially in context to the future of our species. The music industry however has not seen much of AI participation in the way it functions. This changed this year! Welcome ‘AIMUSIC’ into the picture.
This UK based startup plans to use artificial intelligence technology to remix songs on the fly for listeners, the idea being that a song might be an acoustic version in the morning; a pumped-up version for the gym, or a jazzy version late at night. The company has said that a demo will be coming out soon! We all have that fear that robots might take over our livelihood’s and replace us in every walk of life, and this development will definitely bring that question into some aspects of music making. What is to be seen is how this develops and to what extent it does, but it surely shows that the Music Industry and Technology streams are exploring completely new territory, which I think is great!
VIRTUAL REALITY IN MUSIC EQUIPMENT!
Another technology that has become increasingly popular over the last few years has been Virtual Reality! When the platform initially came out, bands started recording VR 360 Degree videos and it was certainly something new. But after a point of time, the fire died down. This year though, VR has made it’s way into the equipment side of things in the music industry! This product was unveiled at the Winter NAMM this year and it’s called ‘Aerodrums’.
Aerodrums is an imaginary drum kit that people can play through in real time using a VR headset. All you need are a few calibrators and the sticks they provide, and you’re good to go! If you’re a drummer and spend most of your time tapping away on your feet, you can actually get in some practice without actually having to sit on a drum kit or even need a drum pad! This is truly something else. The demos of the product have been amazing and they have received great reviews from world renowned drum players.
This year has only reached half it’s way but we’ve already seen some huge things happening that can change the music industry completely! Whilst there might be reservations and fears surrounding these changes, I think it’s these very changes that the music industry requires to go into the next millennia. It’s amazing to see the emergence of new ideas and technology that all of us can use to express ourselves and feel and hear music in a different way than before.