The music industry and technological advances

The music industry and technological advances

Aug 10, 2023

Music, like many other fields, has been strongly impacted by technology and its evolution over the years. Technology has changed the way we produce, distribute and consume music... Let's take a look back...

Music recording

If today's average listener listens to around 19 hours of music a week, let's remember that before audio recording was possible, music was only consumed live, in concert, and was only accessible to a small proportion of the population.
Music recording reversed this trend, with two major dates:

  • 1860: the first sound engraving on paper rolls by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville
  • 1877: invention of the cylinder phonograph by Thomas Edison.

But it was in the 1950s that vinyl really took off, becoming the universal mode of music consumption.

The death of the record, the birth of streaming

While the Internet represents a major technological advance, its arrival has also jeopardized the record market, to the benefit of the new download platforms.
The music industry responded in the late 2000s with the arrival of the first streaming platforms, such as Spotify and Deezer. A decision that paid off, since streaming now accounts for 23% of market share...

And the artists?

If music consumption has evolved, so has its production and distribution. While musical training, a recording studio and instruments used to be virtually indispensable, today they are far from necessary for a musical career.
Today, advances in computer technology mean that anyone with a computer can compose and record using production or editing software.
Among the most common new technologies in music production are synthesizers and autotune.

There's no need for labels either: many artists now choose to distribute their music via social networks or dedicated platforms such as Soundcloud to build up a solid fanbase!

Thanks to this accessibility to music creation, there are more artists today than ever before.

What's next?

NFTs have recently become a fad, offering fans the chance to literally own the music of their favorite artist, but interest in the format has been short-lived.

Among the advances currently on the agenda: artificial intelligence.
It can be used to separate a song into isolated tracks, to compose melodies and rhythms, and also to simulate the voice of any singer (with varying degrees of success...), and has already been used on projects by well-known artists, such as on Stromae's "Hello Shadow" in 2017.

It remains to be seen whether the computer will replace the artist, but one thing's for sure: while NFTs have failed to establish themselves as a lasting format, vinyl is back with a vengeance, and for good!

Find out more about our pressing solutions for your projects at Diggers Factory