Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Time for music tech innovations not iterations

Why the music business needs some fresh thinking when it comes to leveraging technology


Fri, Apr 19, 2013, 10:04


Hands up how many of you knew that there was a major Irish music business announcement last week? And no, it had nothing to do with some grown men scrapping over a Picnic basket.

Last week, Google Music opened for business in Ireland. The Play Music Store went live in a bunch of countries, including Ireland, offering millions of songs to users, who can also add up to 20,000 songs from their own collections to an online locker.

But compared to the buzz which happened when Spotify launched here last November, Google’s music launch didn’t really register on the buzz richter scale. Another new music service? Yeah, whatever. Next.

It seems that we’ve reached saturation point with new music services. We know there are plenty of alternatives to the major established players, but they appear to be iterations not innovations. Whether we want to buy downloads or stream tunes, we already have our favourites. All those social media add-ons and bells and whistle don’t butter parsnips any longer.

And yet the new services continue to stack up. In terms of music discovery, there will be Twitter Music and Daisy in the coming months. We’ve had a gaggle of crowd-sourcing attempts at bringing light and change to the murky world of live music, but all seem to be roughly the same thing (ie punter books band for gig in gaff or hall).

What will be truly interesting would be something in the music tech space which no-one is expecting. You could argue that we’re still trying to acclimatise to what has happened in the last 10 years, but someone has to be looking ahead to what’s next. After all, look what happened the last time the music industry failed to be prescient about its business and was caught napping.