September 23, 2015

How technology’s shaping the music industry and events

In the 90s the music industry stood in the shadow of technology fearing its future, with the launch of download programs such as Napster. However, these days, with the likes of Spotify, technology has empowered artists and relatively, music events. Unlike the 50s, where people were fed music genres via limited radio stations, technology has given access and growth to a variety of genres.

To say the least, something good definitely came out of something ‘bad.’ Given the hot topic of streaming over the past couple years and our excitement for Reeperbahn Festival, we’ve rounded up a few technologies that have played a part (good and bad) in the music industry and its relative events.


Online dating apps

Of all things, you’d probably least expect tinder to take a toll on music, but in recent news promoters have thought otherwise. In the wake of the dating apocalypse, tinder has created a change in the atmosphere of a night out. On a Friday night people are more unwilling to go to a music venue and spontaneously meet people, instead opting to find hookups right from their couch.

Therefore a lack of attendants could foreseeably close the opportunity for various artists to make a name and share their music with the industry. On the plus side, with the introduction of the festival dating app Glance and music pairing Mix’D, people with the same music taste are brought together, be it a cafe or a gig.



The Boiler Room approach

Boiler Room are renowned for their video live streaming service, their ability to provide for a niche audience with a cultivated taste for underground music. It’s able to satisfy its fragmented audience, allowing underground music to reach its audience in different parts of the world; those who can’t be at the live event. It gets high engagement from a passionate audience and technology has allowed them to interact with artists even when they can’t physically be there.

This has opened the door to the sharing and exploration of more niche music genres, as well as provided music events with the opportunity for their audiences to engage with their events prior, during and after taking place (even when they can’t be there).


Music streaming

There’s been a lot of debate about the ups and downs of music streaming over the past few years. However, in recent news articles it looks like channels such as Spotify have done more good than bad. Streaming has not only provided artists with a promotional platform, but has actually generated revenue, and enabled a supply of fresh/new music.

According to Music Managers Forum’s Jon Webster, “technology has been incredibly empowering for them [artists], giving them access to new fans from Ethiopia to Brazil.” This inevitably opens the doors to music events in various parts of the world, in places you wouldn’t have imagined you could enter.



Virtual reality

Contrary to the belief that less people will attend an event if they can experience it right from their couch, this is actually a powerful tool to making sure artists’ music is heard whenever and wherever. Not only that, but it gives people who don’t have such easy access to this kind of entertainment in their homeland the ability to be part of a crowd all the way at the other side of the world. It’s an inclusive experience and increases cultural relevance to a diverse audience fragmented by geography.

The event can also be experienced in many different ways. For example, you can be positioned backstage or on stage whilst the artist performs, creating a more intimate experience between the fan and artist.

Sparked your curiosity about the effects of technology on the music and events industry yet? Come find out more at ‘A new digital world for events’ at the Reeperbahn Festival, where co-founder and managing director of A4VR, Jan Thiel, will address the impact technological developments have on events in the upcoming years.  


by Emma Brincat