The Music Industry: Saved By Going Cashless?

The Music Industry: Saved By Going Cashless?

When the music industry went digital, people panicked. They said that the industry was over, and that it was all downhill from there – until we learned to adapt with the times. Sure, kids aren’t running to Woolworths to pick up the latest cassette singles with their £2 a week pocket money anymore, but we’re not all listening to S Club 7 and fussing over who’s going to win Pop Idol, either (although when it comes to other talent shows, perhaps some things never change…).

Digital Subscriptions
One thing’s for sure: In 2017, people really don’t like cash as much as they used to. It’s no surprise, really – we live most of our lives online, and until we can shove physical money notes through our computers, most of our purchases don’t require it.

Music downloads became really popular over a decade ago. Unfortunately, this left the industry open to a lot of exploitation, and people not being paid fairly, because some people weren’t paying at all. People don’t always want to commit to buying full albums, especially when songs are readily available.

So, it’s no surprise that music bosses conspired to make premium music services such as streaming sites like Spotify and Apple Music available at a cost. Although their fairness is also hotly debated because of the amount artists get paid, things could be about to get a whole lot better, thanks to a technology called Blockchain, which would mean people couldn’t just take advantage of music at their own leisure. This is because Blockchain operates on a public ledger, meaning that all those involved, from the listeners to the producers, can see transparently exactly what’s going on, and be paid accordingly.

It’s not just music that makes us think that. Every single industry that you can think of is making similar moves, some through direct debits (making payments much more reliable), and others through means such as Bitcoin, which utilises the same technology, Blockchain, to make online transactions fair, through a cryptocurrency. In fact, the VegasCasino blog demonstrates how the gaming industry is making similar moves to secure their section of the gaming industry, through allowing users to play their extensive slot range and pay using Bitcoin.

Cashless Festivals
Another huge sector of the music industry is the live sector. Literally millions of people attend festivals and other music events every single year.
When you’re at a festival, especially a camping one, it’s annoying to carry cash around with you. Festival planners have recognised this, with more and more going cashless. This is actually a smart move on their part (it’s easy to lose track of spending, after all), but also suits punters as well, who don’t have to worry about cash going missing from their tent, or having to cart it all around after a bit of a sesh. However, some issues do need to be ironed out, because technical difficulties seen at Download actually made things even more difficult for everyone.

Music is about pushing boundaries, as is technology. Why then is it such a surprise when the two combine easily together?

Spotify cards” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by magerleagues

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