The music industry, its components, and individuals are constantly changing and adapting to the new technologies and media around them. The rise of the internet became one big problem for this business in the past, as people started to download easily and for free all types of music. Nevertheless, the industry got through that period and now has made from internet their best ally. Social media and music streaming have become the major sources of income for singers, producers and record labels in the last years. Just Musically Speaking has investigated and explored the industry and its relationship with media and internet to understand if they are really benefiting the music business or they are twisting its true purpose.
One of the most famous internet platforms that have benefited music is the online streaming. Several are the applications that have appeared on the last years: Pandora, Tidal or the most known, Spotify. Music streaming gives the user the opportunity of listening to its favorite artist in exchange for watching some ads or paying a monthly subscription. The music industry has increased its incomes in $15.0 billion in the last year due to the increase of music streaming in a 45%. IFPI Global 2016 Report affirms that “Subscriptions revenue, excluding revenue from some services’ free tiers, jumped $58.9 million to $2 billion. The number of subscribers grew 66 percent to 68 million. The number of new subscribers, 27 million, was twice the 28-million subscriber gain in 2014 and over three times the growth in 2013.” These new technologies or platforms have somehow saved the industry, as the rest of the analytics show a much more pessimistic future for it.
Despite all its enchanting advantages, this revolutionary way of listening to music is not as free and controllable as we think. Your Spotify profile is fully controlled by the “magic” algorithms, the technology that also controls your Facebook and Instagram timeline based on your past actions. “We now have more technology than ever before to ensure that if you’re the smallest, strangest musician in the world, doing something that only 20 people in the world will dig, we can now find those 20 people and connect the dots between the artist and listeners,” affirms Mathew Ogle, ex Spotify director. Through playlists as ‘Discover Weekly’, “Your Daily Mixes’ or ‘Release Radar’, Spotify gives you what you want every day.
Aside from Spotify, the music industry has enormously changed its original focus. Now what really sells in the music world is the visual image and popularity of the singers, and in this way, gossip news makes us focus on the personal and controversial part of artists leaving its work of art behind. For example, Justin Bieber is every day’s face of all magazine’s cover due to his personal life, while his music only stars in few of them. Additionally, in the last years, most of this news has turned to be fake; such a dangerous practice as it can create hate for many artists. As we have seen in this case, media has affected the music industry in a bad way, downplaying the true and original role of it.
New media is increasing clearly the influence on the whole world, and the music industry is inevitably adapting to it. Streaming music has become the most common action nowadays, something that is controlling our tastes and choices in music without realizing, but that is also giving the industry the possibility of facing piracy. At the same time, we are watching how artists have turned into celebrities, due to the style of media coverage of the music industry. Just Musically Speaking aims to change this way in which media shapes the music industry, touching each of the processes and places where music is created, talking about music as what it is, art. JMS wants to focus on artists that have something to say in today’s saturated music industry, wants to explore and discover you new tracks that make you cry, laugh and especially think.
No matter what, the music industry will continue facing the problems that the appearance of new media is constantly creating in the world. Thus, music and every similar industry will be forced to transform, experiment and accept that they either change or die.