How we will consume music
in the future – according
to the experts
It is easy to forget how incredibly disruptive in the past ten years has been the way music is distributed and consumed. We have received great streaming services with gigantic range. But what’s the next step? We asked some experts.
Spotify, Deezer and SoundCloud are some of the services included in the mobile operator 3’s offer of free surfing for music streaming . These are services that we now take for granted and that is a big part of the change that occurred in the music industry in recent years. Are they still on in, say, ten years? Let’s hear what the experts say.
Alex Esser – music contractor
Alex Esser is an IT entrepreneur, with among other things the smart music service Tuna spot under his belt. As a music geek and he runs DJ House Music With Love , a concept that holds podcasts, a blog and record label. Since the beginning of 2014, he was Nordic Head of the French streaming service Deezer, with six million paying users worldwide. He sees a clear movement away from the traditional album format.
We will increasingly consume music flows, he says. At the beginning of the streaming wave, services created all their own playlists, which were also relatively fixed. Now we as users are accustomed to be served, and we want to have a flow instead. The music should be accessible and easy to consume, and the flow is changing all the time.
He believes, for example, the phone’s built-in accelerometer will be able to perceive how we travel and thus adapt the music flow after a car ride, walking or jogging. Voice control is also an important next step in development.
We will be able to control most with voice, and then you can just say to your streaming service, “play my favorite songs,” “give me something new,” “I’m sorry” or “now is the pre-party!”, You get a completely customized and personalized music stream for you and your situation.
Music is, in other words, a soundtrack, a backdrop to life. When everything is available, music can also be an additional service to strengthen the various types of other offerings.
In Sweden, we already see how the streaming services are closely linked with mobile operators’ offerings, as we do with Deezer 3, for example. But banks, utility companies, broadband companies – or why not the landlords? Might as well add music to attract new customers. It costs relatively little to entice a young person who may become a customer for life.
Juliet Shavit – communicator
Juliet Shavit, CEO of the communications agency SmartMark Communications and executive director of MusiComms, an association that brings together leaders from companies in the music and technology industries to find new revenue models and innovative ways to use music for brand building purposes.
She believes, like Alex Esser, we will see many new and unexpected platforms for music distribution in the future.
Absolutely. Everyone talks about the Internet of Things and how different industries are linked together. Music plays a very important role in how to create customer engagement.
The market for IoT is estimated to be worth three trillion U.S. dollars in the current situation, and Juliet Shavit believes that this emerging industry, in fact, may be the music industry’s rescue.
The biggest problem right now is that there is a training curve – the music industry must itself be able to understand and utilize the technology to grow. The traditional streaming model puts the music industry at a disadvantage. By optimizing and finding income in IoT the power will go back into the hands of the music industry.
According to a U.S. survey of 4,000 consumers, 40 percent would be willing to change mobile operator depending on the music plan that is available in the subscription.
Juliet Shavit is convinced that the music industry is facing a new renaissance when the music industry understands how to navigate the IoT world and regain faith in music’s value.
With new revenue and new distribution methods in the music industry, there will also be better compensated songwriters – and the rest of the value chain will be able to flourish. New business opportunities mean new compensation opportunities, which in turn leads to creativity flowing more freely.
Sara Herrlin and Björn Lindborg – korsbefruktarna
Stockholm has over the past decade found, many say, the least successful marriage between music, technology and entrepreneurship. But subordinate gatherings would cause even more cross-fertilization to take shape. That realization led to the record label veterans Sara Herrlin and Björn Lindborg founding GBG Music City, a new venue for music and technology.
Inspired and close ties STHLM Tech and SUP46 started this new venue for music and technology to take shape in early in 2016.
The vision is still physical hub meetings to supplement the digital switch, says Sara Herrlin. We are building a strong community where I think a lot transformation can be done through the combination of experience from the traditional industry with amazing young and innovative startups.
What’s beyond streaming services?
I think streaming services will remain a little while and develop even more from their strong platforms. However, I think everything will be more open and freely available in the near future. It is very interesting to follow startups like Soundtrap where artists create and distribute with each other directly through a platform – a step beyond SoundCloud who was also early in the spray.
Will the whole way of thinking with a “45-minute rock album every two years” disappear in favor of a more playful and open approach to artistry?
That is what we hope, says Björn Lindborg. Playlists have already replaced the album as a concept and we believe in the future is dynamic “artist bundles”. By this we mean that the future album will constantly be updated with new versions, new songs, new remixes. Basically, we always have composition and the text, but the number of recorded versions will only be more.
We also believe that many more people than before will create music and make it available to the public – tools like Soundtrap will certainly grow up with platforms like Spotify. Many of today’s hits are created in the boy- or girlfriends’ rooms of completely unknown musicians. Then get the momentum and interest online. The time when record companies were gatekeepers is thankfully over.
What is the next step in the music experience?
Here we have confidence in virtual reality and augmented reality, says Bjorn. Streaming has revolutionized the distribution and availability, but the music experience leaves much to be desired. But VR and AR can once again put the artist in focus, and it becomes easier for the artist to express themselves creatively through both audio and video.
Anders Haby – VR enthusiast
Just like Bjorn Linderborg suggests a quickly growing market for virtual reality and augmented reality. In short, it is conceivable that we go on virtual 360 concerts together with our friends. Samsung has actually already live broadcast RMH Block Party 02 – optimized to be consumed with VR glasses.
Anders Haby drives the fledgling site VRGeeks.se. He sees a huge potential for development in this area, but is skeptical that the live music experience will knock on a broad front.
To stream live concerts in VR is probably not as great as you might think, he says. It will be many years before it really comes through and the reason is that the experience will be far behind the real. The amount of data required to provide a reasonably sharp image of 360 degrees is huge.
Unfortunately, I also believe that we are too busy today to watch something together that is not live. By contrast, to download and see for yourself at a concert that you had not been able to witness is definitely something that will be great.
Closest at hand, says Anders Haby, are experiences related to electronic music.
It definitely has the opportunity to succeed, a digitally rendered concert that does not compete with a real experience. These experiences are better suited to musical genres where the music has much more focus than the artist – for example, electronic music – but also traditional artists can do cool experiences. A good example is Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody in 360 degrees.
The technology is basically ready now for an all-digital concert. It is of course assuming that more should have VR goggles in the home. Most likely it becomes more common in two to three years.
How would VR be able to influence the way we consume music?
Imagine that you are walking on a street and all you see pulsates to the music. Maybe it pops up digital dancers from all sides? You know it’s not real, but the music is raised to the next level. With this technology, the record companies to deliver a music experience that is only limited by the imagination.