If streaming loses its steam, many are wondering what would be the music listening experience of the future. Simply put, no one has thought that far and projecting to such lengths comes with some elements of guesswork and forecasting error. However, looking at the trend as it is today, chances are that music technology could advance so much such that within the next decade or so, people even won’t be listening to artists any more.
Maybe, listeners would just plug themselves into machines which would decode the tastes and preferences and then procedurally generate new music which would perfectly fit the preferences. Currently, there are experiments going on with procedural music and who knows, some may take it to the next step of customization.
Music targeted on the Tastes and Preferences
Authorities on the future of music listening have pointed out that irrespective of the number of tracks available on streaming services such as Beats Radio or Spotify, are decisions still has to be made by the listeners on what tracks to listen to. This simply means that listening to music today is relatively harder compared to radio which strangely is still popular among Americans. As a matter of fact, a survey done in 2013 showed that 91% of Americans listened to radio. The clear trend here is that lots of people are not just looking for music that matches their tastes, but also a listening experience that allows them to consume music without the troubles of creating playlists.
There has been an increased interest into zero-UI music players which ideally require no interaction whatsoever from you as the listener. Instead, these players leverage on the available information such as Facebook and Twitter posts, demographic information, music library information, the current activity the listener is taking part in, or details on the songs that were playing when the user skipped a track, turned up the volume or abandoned a listening session. Using this information, the player will then generate a highly targeted playlist that works with both the users taste as well as their context.
Zero-UI music Players
According to the pioneers of the zero-UI music playing system, there is a strong case because these systems would be a perfect fit for the majority of listeners. Spotify is also looking into this direction with recent reports indicating that they are looking into methodologies that would incorporate motion, heart rate, sleep patterns, and temperature to figure out what exactly the listener is doing and the sort of music they may want to hear. The seriousness of Spotify in this direction has been evidenced by their purchase of The Echo Nest which is an innovative musical intelligence platform powering lots of discovery engines and recommendation applications.