We live in a world that is constantly affected by music. In the last ten years alone, the development of music, the way it influences us, and the variation of genres has grown exponentially. It's integrated into the social channels we use on a daily basis and many other elements of our lives. In today’s blog, we look at some of the powerhouses driving music into the future in ways we could've only imagined in the past.
In 2015, streaming music officially took over downloading and it has continued to prosper since.
With the incredible growth of Spotify, alongside the launch of Tidal and Apple Music, it would seem that streaming is the future of music and it’s here to stay. Even when you consider the large resurgence of vinyl sales, convenience reigns supreme.
Having a music library, larger than you could ever have conceived, at the touch of a button, on-demand, on-the-go and offline… and in your pocket - a quote that reminds us of Steve Jobs’ remarks around the launch of the iPod, except far superior in numbers; a thousand vs 4 million.
Out of the three streaming platforms mentioned, currently, Spotify is leading the way in how to offer the perfect streaming service. The success of personalisation is exactly what boosted their reputation and saw them take the lead of the battle of the platforms. Last year, they introduced Discover Weekly, a personalised playlist created for each user based on their listening habits. The concept is to provide each user with the choice to listen care-free, knowing it will be to their taste, as well as, the opportunity to discover new music they may not of found otherwise. Algorithm-based playlists are now the future of streaming, with a continual move towards a totally personal experience for each user on one platform.
The introduction of Your Daily Mix is another step towards achieving this, offering each user an option of six mixes to access every day, based again on listening preferences, but this time, each mix caters to a different genre or collection of artists. Once again, this illustrates just how far these platforms have come and how digitisation has advanced the music industry.
According to Digital Music News, music streaming has recently gained 100m paying subscribers worldwide (43m of those are on Spotify, with 100m using the free option), firmly putting the music industry back on track after years of illegal Napster and LimeWire trickeries, that threatened the survival of the industry.
In an effort to be the most advanced platform, Spotify has recently launched Climatune, a collaboration between Spotify and Accuweather, that records the different genres of music people listen to depending on the weather. The largest-scale research ever conducted into the connection between music and atmospheric conditions, they analysed music from each weather type against energy levels and emotion in a song; determining that for most cities around the world, when it’s sunny, they will listen to higher energy, happier-sounding music, whereas on rainy days, people tend to listen to lower-energy, sadder music, amongst other findings (of course, this differs somewhat per city). Head to their site to find out what your city listens to on a rainy day.
It’s almost too clever to be true. A trend predictor, as well as a musical tool. Shazam can identify millions of songs at the touch of a button.
By analysing captured sound and seeking a match based on an acoustic fingerprint (a unique tracking mechanism which has a time-frequency graph) in a database of more than 11 million songs, Shazam then identifies the songs and returns an answer.
Once the fingerprint is created by the user, it will search it’s database for tagged songs, and will more often than not return a match. It has the ability to recognise pre-recorded music from any source; radio, TV, cinema, or music being played in a bar/club providing that it’s loud enough to pick up.
Not only is this revolutionary in itself, giving us a tool to identify unfamiliar songs at the touch of the button, but it’s also a way of predicting trends in hits, as well as a source for scouts to find unsigned artists.
A large tool in the future of music, it can be responsible for reviving songs of old by identifying their use in movies and ads. The Shazam chart is updated every week here, as well as covering future hits, the global top 100 and the Shazam hall of fame.
Whilst Snapchat isn’t best known to be a leader within the music industry, it’s certainly changing the way the youth of today discover songs, in a subtle, non-invasive fashion.
Last year saw Snapchat grow in favour with brands, as a way to infiltrate the consumer’s life once more. However, no-one could of predicted the move towards music promotion; as we recently discovered from Ed Sheeran. With many users checking the app on a daily basis for new updates on filters the app offers, there was a new filter to arrive at the beginning of this year, with a seemingly unfamiliar song in the background...little did we know that it was a 30 second preview of Sheeran’s latest hit; intriguing all users to start searching, going from unknown to viral in a matter of days.
With the recent update from Snapchat meaning you can Shazam a song within the app, this has become the perfect way to subtly release a song whilst upholding intrigue and allowing people to ‘discover’ for themselves. Going viral has just got a lot easier.
Digital is shaping music, from consumption to discovery and sharing. 2017 is set to be the year that will continue to change the music industry for the better, expect to see a lot of development across social media platforms, as well as more personalisation from Spotify...stay tuned.