Future Music Formats: evaluating the ‘album app’

Toulson, R. and Shakhovskoy, J. 2015. Future Music Formats: evaluating the ‘album app’. Journal on The Art of Record Production. 10.

TitleFuture Music Formats: evaluating the ‘album app’
AuthorsToulson, R. and Shakhovskoy, J.
Abstract

The music industry has been impacted by the effects of digital technology more than any other arts sector. While digital music sales in the form of MP3 downloads and digital music streaming services have made music instantly available, they have greatly diminished the tactile experience for the consumer and have limited the artist’s control over how their work is presented. Audio quality (i.e. the audio bitrate, dynamic range and distortion levels) is generally poorer than that found on CD or vinyl and supporting content, such as cover art, sleeve notes and credits identifying the performers, producers and engineers, are mostly absent when music is distributed digitally. Meanwhile, the revenue available to support music makers and related arts professionals has decreased, owing somewhat to music piracy and illegal file-sharing on one hand (De Beukelaer, 2014) and small royalty payments from streaming services on the other (Ellis-Petersen, 2014a).
The music album has perhaps suffered the most through the digital revolution. When a complete work such as this is reduced to simply a series of digital files that can be shared or streamed in any order without context, the concept of the album as a rich and coherent statement of the artist’s vision ceases to function (Ellis-Petersen, 2014b).
The mobile app is reported to hold the potential to reverse these trends and become the definitive delivery format for music in the next three years (Dredge, 2012). Apps can offer a richer, more engaging experience for fans by combining music, video, social media, and interactive features in a single, piracy-resistant package. Music formats delivering a richer user experience could potentially drive greater revenues for artists and rights holders.
The research presented here describes a study that seeks to evaluate the potential benefits of album apps to the commercial music industry. In particular the objective is to identify methods, technologies and opportunities for maximising and optimising the potential of digital music formats and commercial music sales through digital channels.
Additionally, there is a research objective: to discover new music sales strategies that are aimed at enhancing an artist’s connection with their fans. By addressing this specific objective, the research also serves to build a knowledge base of music consumers’ listening habits and their acceptance of new and future technologies and formats for commercial music.

KeywordsAlbum App, MP3, Music Album
JournalJournal on The Art of Record Production
Journal citation10
ISSN1754-9892
Year2015
PublisherAssociation for the Study of the Art of Record Production
Web address (URL)http://arpjournal.com/future-music-formats-evaluating-the-album-app/
Publication dates
PublishedJul 2015

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