10 Technology Trends For the '10s
December 29, 2009 at 6:23 AM (PT)
With a new decade just a couple of days away, DIRECTIONS ON MICROSOFT analyst MATT ROSOFF went NOSTRADMUS on us by penning "10 music-tech trends that will shape the next decade," which has been posted on CNET.COM. ROSOFF picked the following 10 trends in music and technology that will shape the next decade:
* Songs instead of albums
"Fewer musicians will release suites of songs organized around a common theme or sound," he wrote. "With digital files already taking the place of physical recordings, there's almost no economic reason for the album to persist. By 2020, the concept of the album will be an anachronism with a few vocal adherents -- like vinyl records are today."
* Streams instead of downloads
"If you had access to every song ever recorded, on any device, from any location with an Internet connection, wouldn't you rather pay for that service than buy a new CD or two every month? People say they want to own music, but when it's just a digital file, what do they want to own ... why bother? ... By 2020, most professionally recorded music will be consumed as on-demand streams and people won't pay by the track"
* Clouds instead of hard drives
"As users become accustomed to listening to more professionally recorded music on demand, they'll expect their personal collections to be available in the cloud as well."
* Fidelity rather than file size
"Eventually bandwidth will increase to the point where streaming lossless digital files makes sense. Listeners will rediscover detail in the midrange, and tons of information at the low and high ends of the spectrum -- and the MP3 will be looked back as the dark ages of audio quality. "
* Extras become standard
"What's to prevent artists from packaging their music with artwork, lyric sheets, video outtakes, and even interactive applications? "
* Production rather than consumption
"Digital technology, [which] has already democratized the recording process, and the Internet have also made promotion and distribution far easier than they were a decade ago. By 2020, music fans will spend almost as much time creating and sharing recordings with their friends as they do listening to professionally recorded music."
* Suggestions rather than searches
"In a world of on-demand music in the cloud, search will become vitally important. Users will want to be able to find songs not only by title, album, or artist, but also by a few snippets of lyrics, or even by humming or playing part of a melody. By 2020, personalized recommendation services, like those provided by Pandora, Slacker, and MOG, will become even more important than search, and will have to be integrated into any on-demand music service that hopes to survive."
* Festivals rather than big concerts
"With the exception of old, established acts and the very occasional pop sensation, very few bands can fill large arenas or football stadiums. This trend will accelerate as the last bands from the golden age of radio retire. In 2020, no single act will be able to sell 50,000 tickets at Qwest Field like U2 hopes to do this summer. Instead, the only shows that will pack large arenas will be festivals, where listeners can pick and choose among dozens of acts and classes of entertainment."
* Spectacle rather than personality
"The common wisdom today dictates that musicians need a personal connection with their fans. They must blog, tweet, maintain their MYSPACE and FACEBOOK profiles, and generally act like your next door neighbor who's always pestering you to see his band. There's a word for [this] --it's called "spam." Eventually, this cloud of self-promotional noise will dissipate, and will be replaced by old-fashioned word-of-mouth.
* Retro takes on a new meaning
"In 2020, the original iPod will be almost 20 years old ... overtaken by a nearly infinite selection of high-fidelity music, streamed over super-fast wireless connections to increasingly inexpensive portable devices." First-generation iPODS will become the SONY WALKMAN of the Aughts.