Music has always been with us since the day we were born. All cultures, in some form or other, have their own unique tones that help them to tell stories about their land and their people. If you are one of those people who have always wondered about how music has evolved over the last decade, then read on to learn more about its short history.
Over the last decade, the music industry has exploded and become a paradise of limitless possibilities, both for listeners and for creators. The contemporary music industry has transformed, with digital music seeing the industry re-emerge into growth after years of declining profits. Although in 2010, the industry had been struggling with piracy issues and declining sales of physical music, online streaming soon revitalised the music industry.
It is a similar story worldwide, with streaming starting out in the 2010s as small and ending up being the largest moneymaker in the industry. Streaming was also responsible in large part for pushing digital music revenues over the $10 billion threshold for the first time.
Mobile phones became increasingly prevalent, and streaming music sites started making business. Along came streaming services that bundled as much music as possible in a single location, negotiated by labels, publishers, and artists. While social media platforms encouraged consumers to share music among themselves, the users soon transformed from consumers into creators in the 2010s.
Algorithms within popular streaming services allowed for personalised musical experiences, recommended new songs, offered shared playlists and found new, international artists with a click of a button. The options listeners have for sharing and discovering new music have increased dramatically as well.
With the advent of popular streaming sites, music consumers now have music at their fingertips. Streaming services are making it easier than ever to get new music at very low prices, and they are also making it extremely easy for new artists to be discovered. Capturing music and sharing it all over the world becomes a possibility thanks to being able to bring the music to your house and have it played on-demand or hear a hit song while tuning into a set of home radios.
Technological developments played a crucial role in making popular music accessible to homes. Consuming music was not the only thing revolutionised by technology; reading and playing music have changed significantly as well. New technologies also impacted how music is made and produced.
The past 30 years have seen dramatic changes in how music is made and distributed. As we have seen, music has evolved mostly due to advances in technology and improvements over the previous ways things were done. The music that defines each decade is different, and without every single musical composition developed over history, our culture would not be the same.
To add some depth to our lessons about music history, we created a few playlists with some of the best songs of those decades. To get an idea of the changes that have taken place in the music industry, we compared the early years of the 2010s with the late years, as well as noting some important moments along the way that changed the course of the decade. This approach helped to examine how music has evolved, how one generation has influenced the next, and what has changed about relationships between fans, producers, and artists, the music they make, how it is delivered, and how it is consumed.
The sounds of music changed everything, which has also had an outsized influence on our cultural evolution. Music is timeless but has changed drastically over the decades to give us new sounds and new favourites.
The music being released today is vastly different from that released just a few decades ago. Recorded music has always evolved to suit the dominant formats of the time, ranging from three-minute songs that would fit onto a 7-inch vinyl through 8-song albums that would fit onto an LP, and then up to 16+-song albums that would fit onto CDs.
Sound characteristics, even the music itself, have changed greatly throughout the decades. The rhythm of the sound has become faster, and you might also find the characteristics of bounce or the way that the music’s energy has changed.
As one might imagine, every hit in the contemporary music industry was followed by an explosion of new websites, services, and players. As streaming came to dominate how we consumed music in the mid-2010s, hip-hop became the most-listened-to genre in the US and, ultimately, around the world. A decade later, iPods and CDs were mostly wiped out of the consumer’s experience, and streaming, vinyl, and surprise album drop owned the stage.
With more technological advancements, it is hard to predict accurately what the future will look like. Crypto music might become the next big thing. The technology supporting the music cryptocurrency can help artists to share their songs by eliminating the middle channel. In this way, the cost of distribution would decrease, which in turn, will increase the revenue.
In a nutshell, technology has helped music reach new heights. Now, many people have access to music and can make and share songs more efficiently, which in turn, encourages artists to share their creativity with the world.