What is the future of music?

A problem I find today with technology is the silos that tech companies have created. An example of this is me buying a lot of apps on one platform (Android) and not switching properly to another platformif I please like iOS because of all the apps that I have purchased.

That is a topic as a whole is for another day, but to get specific, what is the future of music? As much “digital” as we have gotten, vinyl has made a comeback. This is for the music enthusiast and there is something about owning a physical copy that makes it better. The early days of Pandora seemed promising with curated radio. I remember being on stumbleupon and coming across Spotify before it came to US. Now with every company having its own service (Apple Music, Google Play Music, Amazon Music, and now dead, Microsoft’s “Groove” service). One has to wonder what is the future of Music?

But how did we get here? Back in the Napster days, when all the musicians were having a fit over pirated music, they thought what Napster was doing was hurting the music industry. But others that I agree with will say that this helped the music industry grow. It helped with music discovery. Rhapsody tried to do it the legal way but ultimately failed because there was no incentive to fully pay for an album at the time. The music business needed innovation. Then there were two pioneers. Pandora for free listeners and iTunes for the ninety-nine cent per song model. The rest is history and here we are with a plathora of choice with music listening.

There was a streaming bubble for a while. Services like Tydal and Pono were good attempts but they didn’t catch on because they weren’t tied into your OS or have the same or better service that Spotify does. They tried to get people with exclusives and sound quality.

You have to keep in mind that these music streaming services are a money loss. The music labels can raise the streaming prices that these companies have. For companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon which music streaming isn’t their main business, they can afford to lose money from these streaming services. Spotify has had to slightly pivot by buying podcasting media companies and having celebs host podcasts on their platform.

So what are the problems that we face today in music? One I would say is music sharing caused by the silos. Youtube seems to be the middle ground to share a song. If you can think of any others, write a comment or let me know what streaming service you use and why?



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