Flying cars, hoverboards, and self-drying jackets—all possibilities, right? Even so, predicting the future is hard. However, if we’re just to focus on music right now, it’s a fascinating time. Certain things are falling into place, which means that the path is maybe—just maybe—becoming clearer for the minute. At least, that is, in terms of how technology is influencing the way people listen to music.
We are obviously at a point now where legal, on-demand access to almost all music is a reality—whether through streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music, or YouTube (which we might want to count as a streaming service as well, though I don’t think anyone actually uses it in quite the same fashion). In some ways, streaming is still a comparatively niche business, but from where I’m sitting—as someone working in the music industry—at some point in the last 12 months it went from an underground niche to an overground one.
It is now inevitable that streaming music will become the most popular way to listen. It won’t be the only way, of course, but it will certainly account for the majority—in the same way the CD once did.