Spotify founder, Daniel Ek on the future of listening to music
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What will the future of listening to music look like? Well unless the business model gets fixed pretty soon and something is done about systematic piracy, then it will probably all sound like Simon Cowell as no-one will be able to afford to be creative and music will be left in the hands of the merchandisers. But Daniel Ek, the boss of Spotify has some fascinating visions on what exactly the future may look like.
As we head towards hardwired internet connections – it would be no surprise to see computing devices embedded in the body or at the very least woven into clothing. Google Glass is leading the charge for wearable, permanently connected computing. Touch screens will have been superseded by motion sensors, so a mere airborne flick of the wrist could be all the effort that is needed.
Ek visualises a soundscape in which technology continues to drive musical evolution. The last seminal change was toward the end of the 80’s where the new electronics and synthesised sounds created the futuristic hybrids of electronic music. Since then – technology has continued to roll back the frontiers of sonic possibility but has not yet made another quantum leap – just refined the current one.
But interestingly, while many DJ’s are already making edits of existing tracks on the bus to the show, Ek envisions a matrix in which one can edit elements of what we are listening to in real time. Now that doesn’t simply mean skipping the guitar solo – but for example turning a track into an instrumental with a hand movement or vice versa – stripping out the music leaving only the voice and turning it into an acapella. Or even more surgical edits. Removing one layer of guitar or amplifying the string section.
Spotify are already revolutionising approaches to the music business and content delivery. He sounds like someone worth listening to