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« Free Music: Response to Reddit | Main | Love, Sex, and Music Production »
Tuesday
Jan122010

The invention of the Toolbox, and how it can save Music

What came first, the toolbox or the tool? This is not a trick question, it’s obviously the tool, and we have proof. However, with the emergence of more tools, and more applications for these tools, it became apparent that another tool, a tool’s tool, was needed: the Toolbox.

It is no different for the current state of the music industry and all of it’s awesome web tools. I see the future of music going in one distinct direction in order for it to flourish the way it naturally should. It may sound cliche, but the only way true, good music(like the old days) will live on, is if the surviving community of great music decides to unite as one. This may sound like an empty gesture, but with today’s standards, uniting is as easy as selecting and supporting ONE universal music social network online. It’s almost as simple as a mouse click these days to organize collectively toward a common goal.

Once a single platform is established, the possibilities for collaboration and integration of all of the awesome sites and tools that are out there are opened up increasingly, and can benefit the users way more than the current set up. Third party apps can be integrated with the social network to expand the capabilities of the site and its users.

Also, a huge part of this platform should include an effective ad model, that is unobtrusive and that sponsors the content. Artists can track ALL of their plays, vid views, profile views, merchandise page views, shares, ect, and if they give their music away for free, they could then gain ad revenues based on popularity. The downloads on this network would also be very safe, putting an end to crashing computers and lawsuits.

Bands could be able to perform live streaming concerts and sell tickets on this platform, as well as their merchandise, and they can have their updates sent directly to their fan’s profiles. Band members could even eventually practice with each other from across the world if this system is created, leaving even the opportunity for new bands to form, where it would have been impossible before.

Having one music platform would open up the doors to a more efficient way of artist promotion as well. There could be a system where users follow people they share a taste in music with, and then the user’s radio pulls songs from their friend’s playlists when they press play. There could be many ways for users to control this. What this really means is the best free promotion an artist could get (and currently can’t). For example, if my friend likes a song enough to playlist it, then it will get sent to me, and if I like it enough to playlist it, it gets sent to everyone who’s following me, creating an automated word of mouth system that makes the music itself completely viral, as long as it’s good.

There’s currently no term for this, but it can be described almost as a 2-way status update, where a user not only receives the content, but passes on the content that they like. This amazingly simple, but innovative system. will have incredible implications, not just for the promotion of music, but eventually for any product.

Basically, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t have ONE platform online for music, and a million and one reasons why we should. It doesn’t mean the end of all of the current music sites, it would just mean the integration of them all together, performing the role of a toolbox for all of the cool web tools out there. Imagine, before tool boxes, people only had access to a limited amount of tools at a given time; but with the toolbox, the options became almost limitless, given the tools. I see the future of this spreading generously throughout many facets of our lives.

Also in the future, along these same lines, could eventually be mobile hardware, as well as mobile apps that are universally accepted for music distribution. Then, of course, I hope we would do the same thing for TV and Movies, which would be to essentially free the industries, in almost every sense of the term. This system is inevitable and I am certain it will happen in this decade, just as sure as the invention of the toolbox was after the introduction of numerous tools. Organization is key!

Written by: Dante Cullari, Founder & President, Beat-Play, LLC

Reader Comments (5)

We have this thing, it's called the internet. Heard of it? :)

January 12 | Unregistered Commenterscottandrew

@scottandrew - Funny. True but I think the author wants a tool to help consolidate. Essentially a new online gatekeeper function previously lead by the music industry (labels, promoter, radio, MTV, music magazines). You didn't have to venture out of this sphere for most of your mainstream music.

As much as it's a great idea, I doubt it will help in a large-scale, significant way. If music is so fragmented, look at all the web services/tools which are equally as fragmented.

We already have Reverbnation, Blip.FM, MySpace and many, many, many others that in one way or another serve this function.

And who will build this new "toolbox"? Manage it? Will it be open-source or commercial? Who pays for it?

Maybe we could start with some interoperable standards (XSPF.org was one playlist standard that hasn't realized it's full potential)) that all these sites could decide to implement if they wanted to but again, this still doesn't resolve anything.

The internet is the wild wild west and each person has to find the tools/services that work best for them. It's an individual thing. Internet chaos is beautiful and yet overwhelming. For the resourceful and curious, they can truly make it customized to their needs. .

January 13 | Unregistered CommenterGabriel

The toolbox is HTML. It allows for everything you are talking about.

http://www.esession.com for live session collaboration via the internet
check out the Virtual Glass plug-in

http://www.thesixtyone.com for the 2-way music status update idea
this site has some awesome features dealing with attention and reputation or users not just artists and songs

http://www.Ustream.com for live streamcasting of concerts/rehearsals/whatever you want
it is basically possible to run your own "TV-station" with this site.

http://www.eventbrite.com for selling tickets to events.

http://www.lulu.com for publishing books and zines

http://www.gmail.com for email

The list goes on and on.

The toolbox is HTML

January 13 | Unregistered CommenterFoster Hagey

"Basically, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t have ONE platform online for music, and a million and one reasons why we should. "

Here's a good reason: monopolies are bad. The reason the Internets works is decentralization. The reason technology advances is competition.

I mean, it's not really a shocker that you see absolutely nothing wrong with you owning and controlling the One Single Destination. The CEO of Goldman Sachs believes he's doing God's work and even had cynic-balls to say that in a church. Every dictator knows that the world would work much better if everyone would just do what told them to.

January 13 | Unregistered CommenterJustin Boland

The sound of ONE platform scares me, for some of the reasons Gabriel and Justin stated. I think the platforms exist and its up to hungry artists to fill in the pieces.

The reason I like the "no right way to do it" mentality is that it creates a unique experience for artists to find something that works and create their niche in this Music 2.0 landscape. Creativity will flourish and new channels will evolve. Assembly line promotion I will leave up to the major labels to follow. Even as a music marketing blogger, I like to point people to resources that have helped me, however I always encourage finding the right matches for yourself in hopes of each musician making their own logical choices.

January 13 | Unregistered CommenterMario Mendoza

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