Beyond its consumption, music today accompanies us at all times (MP3, Smartphone.), shapes our experiences and emotions wherever we are, we enjoy it from any device and on the move. In the generation of our Digital Identity and in the socialization that the different social network services give us, music enhances our online sociability, shaping a new type of experience (in its consumption. Undoubtedly, today, it is created, discovered, consume, share and comment on more music than ever. In fact, in the last four months alone, more than 5 billion songs have been shared on Facebook through the different services with which the platform has already signed collaboration agreements.
The change in user behaviour has changed the rules of the music game. People do not want to spend large amounts of money on a physical product that tends to disappear, in an environment in which the digital market continues to grow year after year (in the US it has surpassed the physical market for the first time), and is becoming strategic (especially in streaming services, which in the Spanish case has been the segment with the highest growth in 2011.
To this, we have to add the mobile phone as a strategic element in the consumption of music, not only in its role as MP3 but also when consuming it in streaming services and applications through Smartphone’s In the Spanish case, 50% of Internet users use mobile devices daily to access the Internet. And of those users who access the Internet through mobile devices in our country, 25% do so from applications. According to Nielsen, the option most valued by users when deciding on a new terminal is the possibility of downloading or listening to music, something that is very much in line with the capabilities offered by the marketplace such as Apple’s iTunes.
Without a doubt, it is clear that the most important people in the music industry are the artists and the fans. The key is to develop new paths that connect them. In this regard, Technology and Content, as well as the different tools provided by the Internet and Social Networks, are strategic elements for the future of music and artists, together with the possibility of creating experiences through the collaboration of the people.
We are currently developing a business project in this line: Novaemusik. The most important thing for us has undoubtedly been to try to understand the impact that technology and the Internet have had on user behaviour when it comes to consuming, discovering and accessing music, as I mentioned at the beginning. In this environment, there are seven fundamental keys, inherent to Technology, ICT and the Internet, which have had an impact on music and in any sector:
- Digitization of content, in this case of music. We can access from our computer, thanks to the Internet, a music catalogue as we could never have imagined in any large collection or the largest physical record store.
- Disintermediation: more and more artists are producing, composing, distributing and making their work known directly through the Internet and thanks to technological tools that facilitate the ability to carry out work, which was previously carried out in large studios, from their own home.
- Globalization: without leaving home we can access an unimaginable amount of information from any group. In a series of clicks we can discover a group from anywhere in the world, access its website, discover information on its Facebook, Twitter or any other social network service, as well as listen to its songs on YouTube (the MTV of the 21st century ) or download your music from any digital distribution service like iTunes.
- Ubiquity in consumption. The growth of the penetration of Smartphone terminals and content services such as Spotify, which allow us to access a wide catalogue of music at a reasonable price, consume and have access to it from any computer. One of the consequences of technological innovations is the growing ubiquity of music: few are the spaces where it is not present. Music, more than ever, is with us at all times and forms our experiences.
- Ease of cooperation that has fostered in business environments the different services and platforms that allow user interaction in creative processes. As we have developed Plan B as a platform for co-creation and collaboration (Crowdsourcing) for the creation of music among thousands of unknown people through the Internet.
- Transformation of business models, something more than evident due to the impact that the appearance of new players, a priori foreign to the sector, has had on large conventional “industries” and who have come to transform business models. Clear examples we have in the record industry and the appearance of iTunes, or in the book industry and the impact of Amazon.
Deep change in distribution models: impact on distribution models by companies that have generated a new model and that have been able to take advantage of the change in user behaviour brought about by technology. An obvious example is the impact that Netflix has had among the Majors of the United States: Warner, Columbia, Metro Goldwyn Mayer, Universal, Paramount.
The future of music depends on understanding the change in people’s behaviour and trying to monetize it. Recently at MIDEM, the most important fair of Technology and Music in the world, in which we presented El Plan B in a Marketing competition along with 9 other international projects, the sponsorship and collaboration between brands and artists was revealed as one of the keys fundamental, something in which we work from Novaemusik.
To this series of factors we could add a series of fundamental trends in music brought about by technology:
- Access Vs. Membership: “From music as a product to music as a? Service”.
- Capture Vs. Collection: we do not want to collect everything, but to discover, and access, new songs in a simple way the moment we listen to them, as applications such as Shazam or SoundHound prove the success.
- The key is to be able to enjoy the infinite jukebox thanks to the growth of subscription models and Cloud Computing services, as noted in the Gartner report “Online Music Trends: Social Media, Subscriptions and the Cloud.”
- Growth of digital distribution (as a strategic market) which, as we have already mentioned, is the segment that has grown the most in Spain in sales in 2011 and which for the first time has surpassed the physical one in sales in the United States also last year.
- Sharing: in addition to the ease of accessing music, people want to be able to share it among their friends to enhance the sociability that social networking services give us. This is demonstrated by figures such as that 63% of the videos consumed on YouTube (more than 4,000 million a day) are discovered through contact recommendations, or how more than 5,000 million songs have been shared in the last four months on Facebook, one of the fundamental services in the future of music, both due to its F-Commerce possibilities, and as a tool for disseminating the artists’ content (Marketing and Promotion). Change in access to popularity with services such as YouTube that have led young artists like Pablo Alboran or Justin Bieber, among many others, to become big stars.
- Openness and collaboration in the development of new ideas: the Culture of Remix
We have put aside the time when creativity was consumed, but the consumer was not perceived as a creator, a culture controlled from top to bottom. Despite this, never in the history of Man has Culture been so professionalized and never before so concentrated in large industries, Governments and monopolies at an international level that persecutes people through restrictive legislation and anti-piracy laws. A user eager to consume and re-create, eager to contribute his creativity.
However, never in the history of Humanity has there been an era in which people participated in the creation and re-creation of culture like the one we live in today, thanks to the Internet and the facilities of Technology to promote collaboration between people and accessibility to innumerable cultural contents. As Larry Lessig, Harvard professor and founder of Creative Commons, points out, “a culture in which people produce for the love of what they are doing and not for the money.” This is facilitating the emergence of new phenomena such as Remix Culture and Crowdsourcing, which have a high impact on both Culture, as it happens in music, and the business world. Lessig stresses the importance of “the culture that young people are producing all the time; taking current songs and old songs and remixing them to make them something different. It is how they understand access to culture ”.
For Vito Campanelli “individuals are forced to think in terms of post-production and remixing, to cope with the overload of digital information they encounter every day. If the culture has always evolved through variation, selection and repetition, we inhabit the remix culture par excellence, especially if one takes into account the simplicity and speed of the computerized routines of cut and paste, the intuitiveness of Photoshop or the After Effects. As Lev Manovich argues: modern software gave life to a scenario in which the operations of selection, construction, editing and publication of data were facilitated to such an extent that a stage of “total remix” can be envisaged in which everything can be mixed with all the rest ”.
We are witnessing the impact of collective creation with phenomena such as NetArt and examples such as Jodi  or the Santofile collective . Another example is what happens with Anime Music Video , According to Wikipedia  an anime music video (commonly abbreviated AMV) is a music video that consists of several scenes from one or more anime series or movies set for a song in particular. They are mostly music videos that have not been officially released by the musicians but have been compositions created by fans, taking scenes from the series and synchronizing them with the song. Most AMVs are distributed over the Internet. Many anime conventions frequently hold AMV contests or exhibits. This type of digital artistic manifestation is going from being marginal to being common.
Throughout the world, we see more and more signs of the importance of openness and collaboration between people. The Internet has meant a new paradigm in the way in which we come together to collaborate, create and re-create, either among ourselves, users, or through initiatives of artists who open their creations to the participation of others, companies that decide to bet for the ideas of its clients or governments that collaborate in a real way with the people. The spirit of sharing and real online initiatives are gaining more and more relevance and giving positive results.
The Internet’s capacity as a communication tool is ushering in a new age of human development, growth, and productivity. A new era in which collaboration is changing the rules of the game between companies, institutions, governments, artists, musicians and people. In this field, initiatives are emerging that are impacting the way of creating and consuming music. 8 of the 10 most viewed videos on YouTube in 2011 were related to music and, many of them, born from the creations of unknown users who remix, cut and paste, create and co-create new materials based on existing materials and created by artists. The Culture of Remix has an increasing weight in the music industry, as it has always happened among musicians.