Three Ideas Shaping the Future of Music

Technology is changing the way music is made and consumed.
Pat Fogarty
Published on July 31, 2011

This month Alex Steinweiss, the inventor of the album cover, died at the age of 94. In the 1930s his simple idea revolutionised the marketing of music, and although the digital revolution hasn't killed off the music industry in the way many predicted, perhaps the marketing and consumption of music is due for another shake up.

We look at three ways artists are using new tech to grab their fans' attention and beat the pirates.

1. Make it collaborative.

Many a young band has called on friends and fans to help make their first film clip. British band The Vaccines have taken the idea to their entire fanbase, inviting them to provide images of their summer festival experiences via instagram to make the clip to their new song 'Wetsuit.' Other artists like Imogen Heap have gone a step further and asked fans to pitch in with creating the lyrics and music.

2. Make it interactive.

By and large, music is now consumed digitally, either online or via a portable device that probably starts with 'i'. In the same way that Steinweiss used the medium of the record sleeve, artists are using the web and digital devices to express their creativity and involve the 'listener' on more levels. The Polyphonic Spree's latest single Bullseye is available as an interactive, video-game-like app. OK Go have released their latest song, 'All Is Not Lost', online with a dedicated website where, thanks to the magic of HTML5, viewers can generate a customised, kaleidoscopic video featuring their own message spelled out by the Pilobolus dancers.

3. Make it immersive.

Going one step further, Bjork has released her entire album Biophilia as a free app.  Within the app you can purchase the tracks, each of which comes with its own game, video, musical score and sleeve notes. The volume and variety of material on offer demonstrates that there is a world of possibilities for artists to deliver far more than just an audio file, and change the way we consume music.

[via PSFK]

Published on July 31, 2011 by Pat Fogarty
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