Technological advances have brought on a digital revolution that turned the music industry into a world of smart playlists and surprise lyrics. This constant access at our fingertips has liberated us as consumers and forever changed our relationship with music. Social media and music based apps make it possible to browse, discover, listen, and share across many networking platforms. From the upraise of music and technology to the cloud based music services made readily available to consumers, technological advances in music continue to change how we incorporate music into our everyday lives.
How Technology has Changed our Relationship with Music
Woodstock’s 1969 music festival drew in hundreds of thousands of young music enthusiasts. More than half of a million people waited outside the festival destination for three days preceding the event to make sure they would have their place within when it started. Since then, music festivals have grown in popularity and have managed to avoid the stereotypical reckless and laid back lifestyle that was associated with Woodstock. Coachella, Lollapalooza, and Ultra Music Festival share similarities with Woodstock in that they make an effort to create an all-sensory experience for music lovers around the globe. Though the love and enthusiasm for these kinds of events has not changed, one thing has. Technology.
Technology has dramatically changed consumer relationships with music and aided the music festival industry’s popularity. The spectacular events makes use of technology that amplifies sound and in return allows for a better experience for people attending outdoor venues, says Moon (assistant with at University of Arizona’s Fred Fox School of Music) in an interview with Futrity. “I also suspect that there are links between the ways people relate through social media, which creates bonds between fans as they document their festival experiences.”
This growing popularity has been made possible by social media and networking. Constant access to the internet has allowed people to form bonds with events such as Coachella by documenting user experiences across many web based platforms. However, music festival are not the only thing social media has had an effect on. Their integration with music platforms such as Pandora and Spotify allow users to share the tunes they are listening to by linking them in status updates on sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
Sharing music with the touch of a button (or click from a smartphone) has opened up a variety of avenues in how people incorporate music into their everyday lives. However, the biggest shift between social media and music is the increased level of interaction between musicians and their fans. My 14 year old niece one received a Tweet back from Troye Sivan, a singer/songwriter and a rising talent in the music industry. I thought she would lose her head. That one exchange of an insignificant amount of words between artist and fan is a moment that is much appreciated and was made possible by technology and social media. How cool is that we live in a day and age where we can have an actual exchange of words with our favorite musical artists without having to break the bank buying backstage passes for their concerts.
Socials media’s integration with cloud based music platforms has strengthened bonds and relationships with music. Remember the days when you would have to go out and buy a physical record or album in order to listen to your favorite songs whenever you wanted? Whenever you were near that boxy device to play them from that is..
Applications such as Tik Tok, one of the world’s most popular phone apps, allows users to create and share music videos of them singing or lip syncing. The app catalogues a variety of popular songs with an emphasis on pop music. After recording users can immediately upload their video to Instagram and share it with millions of users around the world. This not only introduces people to music and songs they have never heard before, it encourages the to learn the strong and create a video of their own.
CD players and record players are a thing of the past. With access to digital streaming services like Spotify and Pandora, consumers now have a constant connection to millions of songs. Spotify alone has over 180 million users with memberships that allow the to create playlist according to themes, their moods, or favorite music genres. With a single click they are able to follow playlists created by friends and even share the across most social media platforms. iTunes allows consumers to purchase individual songs or full albums and the music they purchase is accessible through all their devices. With Apple’s Family Sharing feature, whenever one family member buys a new song or album, everyone else can download and listen for free.
Innovations in technology continue to strengthen our relationships with music through cloud based platforms, web browsing and social media. This instant and easy access encourages people to listen to their favorite songs and artists constantly. Whether you’re taking advantage of your Spotify Premium account while on a crowded subway or jamming out to a new song you discovered from a friends Facebook update, your bond with technology and music is constantly evolving.