Five Predictions for the Future of Music
The future of music is bleak.
Do Terminators dream of electric guitars?
Our monstrous culture of free downloads has resulted in the Spotify-ification of the last few remaining outlets trading sound for currency. Which is to say, if you're a songwriter today, your music will either be sold for Nothing or Next to Nothing. Those two quantities will also be the only possibilities with regard to your annual income.
Correspondingly, the live music industry is also in its death throes, unless of course we're talking about the hologram of Mick Jagger's reanimated corpse or Madonna poppin' a Molly and some nip slips. But that's, like, The One Percent of popular culture. They are outliers rather than a representation of the concert industry's present climate, which, much like the global economy at large, has been in a WTF OMG tailspin since forever.
The whole shebang has been self-destructing ever since the CD bubble done got popped by Napster's extra pointy safety pin. In a world filled with perpetual war and an increasing number of interconnected environmental crises, I predict the future of music will be absolutely harrowing.
In the Future, There Will Be No Vinyl
In the era of Record Store Day, MTV may appear to be straight jabronin' in this special from the '80s. But don't let trend fetishism fool you: Peak oil and the singularity will ensure that nobody will spend their free time listening to vinyl records.
In the Future, Holograms Will Supplant Fleshy Entertainers
In this eloquent and long-winded explication of one potential scenario for the unraveling of music as we know it, Vice columnist Sam McPheeters envisions the primary sonic experience being mediated through holograms and gaming consoles. He makes a compelling argument, and his vision is grim enough to hope nuclear annihilation comes first.