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The Future of the Music Industry: Potential Predictions & Evolution

The music industry is a significant part of the mass communication realm. People get their music via various media—on the radio through online, broadcast, cable, or satellite transmission, or on-demand through personal mobile devices such as an iPhone. Appealing to everyone, young and old alike, recorded music serves various functions, primarily entertainment and cultural transmission. However, the history of recorded music involves:

  • Both technology and artistry.
  • Physical changes in the material recording.
  • Cultural differences in the genre of music are likely to be registered.


In a decade, the mass communication industry of music will likely lose credibility, have a significant increase in cultural transmission, and lose the physical album. However, listening to music will remain a national pastime regardless of form or format.


It is crucial to acknowledge the history of recorded music and how society accepted it as a massive priority in our day-to-day lives to understand these predictions of what will happen to the music industry in the next decade.


First, in the 1870s, the first mass medium not based on print was developed. At the turn of the century, cinema and radio did not develop as a mass medium until the 1920s. In 1877, Thomas Edison patented his first "talking machine," the phonograph. Later, telephone pioneer Alexander Graham Bell and inventor Charles Tainter invented the graphophone's improved audio-recording device. The Victor Talking Machine Company also launched the gramophone.


After years of innovation and readjustment, society obtains its music with a simple click. Subscription services, having grown remarkably in recent years, offer great ­potential for new revenue streams. Many subscriptions operate on a ­freemium model: Some content is free, but a monthly subscription is required to take advantage of all the site offers. Apple entered the field with its streaming music service, Apple Music, attracting millions of listeners. As the names and functions of these services suggest, the lines have blurred between Internet radio and online music subscription services, making it hard to identify precisely where radio ends and downloading or streaming songs begins. It is undeniable that, while albums have been a recent trend for those who collect "vintage" objects, streaming music on apps like Apple Music or Spotify is the top service over a physical album.


Furthermore, these apps allow anyone and everyone to upload songs, podcasts, etc. Therefore, people from all over the world with many different backgrounds can share their experiences through music. Underground artists have accepted thousands of millions of subscribers. Individuals are becoming famous right from their bedrooms. The transmission of culture is inevitable when anyone differentiating in race, ethnicity, age, gender, etc., can share their unique sounds on apps accessible to the masses. 


However, despite a growing culture in the music realm, since anyone can upload music, some may not take it seriously. The greatest of the greats and the "A list" celebrities gave themselves a name for their talents. Nowadays, genres of music like rap are entirely looked down upon by the older generation because there is no sense of art in the lyrics. However, to younger generations, rap can be considered lyrically genius. Even more recently, common folk can generate AI, artificially intelligent, song lyrics with a voiceover of any artist. The constant production of new music from all genres results in a debate about what is good and what is not. At this rate, music of all kinds may lose that sense of professionalism and respect that older music worked so hard to gain.

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