Music Technology - Changing Interaction Within the Music Industry
Views 24 | Time to read: 3 minutes | Uploaded: 3 - 1 - 2017 | By: Jada Fox
Listening to music is both an intimate and communal experience that evokes emotional and nostalgic responses. While those responses can be individualized through a listener’s personal lens and taste, music can be shared socially. The digital age of music created an entirely new sphere of social and personal music.
Music libraries are no longer limited to a collection of CDs or vinyls. Instead, digital music platforms such as Spotify, SoundCloud, and Apple Music provide listeners with a seemingly unlimited music library. These platforms developed to enhance the listening experience with features that expand personal music libraries through sharing music and personal exploration. Additionally, new innovations such as the SoundR app are further integrating the listener’s personal experience of music through technology.
Founded in 2006, Spotify radically shifted the digital music industry into the age of streaming. Users were suddenly able to listen to music for free, rather than purchasing from iTunes online or browsing through the “new music” section at Best Buy. However, Spotify actively engages users in the personalized experience through features such as Discover Weekly, Daily Mixes, and Release Radar which compile new music suggestions for users to explore according to their recently played library. Though the Discover Weekly and other features originally set Spotify apart from other music streaming services, Apple Music also provides suggested playlists to users based on their recently played music.
SoundR, released within this past year, is a new app that suggests music based on the user’s mood. The free app compiles playlists from SoundCloud according to what the user selects as their mood and genre of choice. The selection draws from artists and songs, both professionally and amateurly produced, on the SoundCloud platform. This encourages users to explore guided by their mindset and emotions, rather than simply guessing what they are in the mood for or hitting play on a guilty-pleasure album. SoundR further develops SoundCloud to be personalized in a manner similar to Spotify and Apple Music. The partnership between SoundR and SoundCloud provides SoundR users with music to explore but may also guide user traffic to SoundCloud and vice versa.
Additionally, programs like SoundR, Spotify, and SoundCloud are partnered with social media such as Facebook or designed with a social intersystem.
The act of listening to music becomes an open conversation through technology with friends. On Spotify, listeners can follow artists, playlists, and other users to see upcoming releases or current music tastes and can even send music recommendations. Meanwhile, SoundCloud allows users to follow and listen to a wide variety of professional and amateur work.
The social sphere of music is not limited to simply sharing tastes and playlists. Music can generate physical responses and often feeds physical activity. A new innovation released early 2017 lets users orchestrate musical beats by dancing. Invented by Daigo Kusunoki, Beatmoovz include Fitbit-styled wristbands with interior Bluetooth radios and accelerometers paired with an app of over 400 sounds.
Beatmoovz users wear the rubber Beatmoovz wristbands around their ankles and wrists and simply begin by dancing. Each movement triggers the sound bites on each band selected by the user through the Beatmoovz app. While Beatmoovz is not a music streaming service, the innovation allows for wearers to create and share a musical experience together or even compose on their own.
New innovations like Beatmoovz and SoundR along with more well known music streaming services have drastically altered the opportunities for experiencing music. Users are able to enter into new circles to share, create, and develop their music taste and library. They can take risks without spending $1.29 each song on iTunes.