Music and the Tech World

by Modis on August 13, 2013

A laptop sits on a mix table in a music studio

Angry images of Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, Nick Mason and David Gilmour splashed across magazines and newspapers this summer when music and the tech world collided. The legendary rock trio accused streaming service, Pandora, of “tricking artists” into “an unfair cut in pay.” Pandora responded by stating that the band had been given “misleading information.”

The Blame Game

The saga continues with Pandora placing the blame on a recording industry lobbying campaign, and bands like Pink Floyd are angry over low royalty payments. Are the days of the jet set rock star over?

Maybe. But, technology in its digital form is relatively new to the rock scene – a scene that had its golden age in records and demi-gods like Jim Morrison decades ago. The music industry is losing money with digital downloads and streaming services, and it’s trying desperately to fight back with a dull blade. There are two sides to this coin, though.

Musicians that move with the changing face of technology are surviving while bands that can’t cope are losing out.

How Jay Z utilizes tech in the music world

At the front of this new digital learning curve is Jay Z. The rapper and businessman recently struck a massive $20 million dollar deal with Samsung for exclusive rights to his new album ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail.’ The first million Samsung Galaxy users that downloaded the album on July 4th received all of Jay Z’s newest tracks for free. But this isn’t Jay Z’s first foray into tech.

His personal YouTube page currently has more than 360,000 subscribers. Providing an example of what happens when the music industry opens up to technology. Jay Z gets it right – so right that rapper Master P wants in on the same Samsung deal.

Apple wants a crack at the music industry

While no rappers have signed up to promote new albums via iPhone, Apple sees dollar signs in the music biz. The company is hoping to work things out between streaming services and music royalties with the company’s new iRadio. Presently, Apple is in talks with Sony Music (and others) in an effort to release iRadio in the near future.

If the company succeeds, Apple will happily fill the massive hole that Pandora is about to leave following artist arguments. Music and the tech world can co-exist but it takes an entrepreneurial mind like Jay Z’s to envision this rhythmic two-step.

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