As it has advanced, technology has impacted and changed the music industry in several ways. Additionally, technology has disrupted the business and music distribution sides of the music industry. For music professionals, understanding the various technologies in use and how they have impacted the industry is crucial.
Cheaper, Better Audio
Earlier technologies were concerned with making music as cheap as possible while also making it sound great. Think about the introduction of the cassette tape and the compact disk. The cassette tape was a welcome alternative to vinyl primarily because it was cheaper to produce and record on. Vinyl still maintained a better sound quality, but the pressing production process made this medium more expensive.
Compact disks made things even cheaper, with better sound quality over cassette tape and easier recording. At the turn of the century, CDs were so cheap and easy to manufacture that tape was relegated primarily to the realm of analog data storage.
The one area of the music industry that has been impacted the most by technology is music creation. With the transition from analog to digital, digital tools have made it possible to produce high-quality music using only a computer and the required software. With a powerful enough computer, people can make music scores that rival those created in large studios.
Many enthusiasts now work with digital workstations that make creating music easier and digital tools that make their productions sound better. A notable development in the way we produce music is the development of autotune. Autotune changed the way vocals sound and has enabled artists to create music in ways that were not possible before. All that is needed to work with autotune is the right software and plugins. These vocal effects and plugins are sold in collections and people can subscribe Auto Tune Unlimited for vocal effects and plugins that will help streamline the music creation process.
Music Discovery and Distribution
While it was the best way to distribute music at the time, sending out physical copies was expensive, time-consuming, and required that people have enough storage space for their tapes, vinyl, or CDs. The internet changed all this because, starting with Napster, it made it possible to distribute, buy and sell digital music online. Napster is wildly regarded as the technology that laid the foundation for music streaming as we know it today. With Apple Music making it cheaper to buy and listen to music on their platform than recording tapes and burning CDs, pirating music went away, and it became easier to discover and acquire it.
Social media has impacted all areas of our lives, including how we experience music and interact with the music industry. Artists now have direct access to their fans while growing their fan bases by reaching fans from all over the world. Artists can also distribute their music on whichever platforms they wish.
Making it easier to create, discover, and distribute music are some ways technology has impacted the music industry. With streamlined processes in place, profits have soared, new platforms have come up, and audiences now have access to the music they otherwise would not.