Like so many of our other cultural pillars, the role of music and the livelihoods of musicians are suffering due to the coronavirus pandemic affecting the planet. Tours and festivals are cancelled, and even streaming has dropped slightly, too. Ever since streaming caught on in the 2010s and breathed life into a flagging industry, music has become the latest landscape the tech world is desperate to remake in its image, and there is opportunity in these unprecedented times.
Music is always in a state of flux—genres are created, redefined, and ultimately eschewed. Vinyl records go from being the latest mode of listening to outdated to retro haute in just the span of a few decades. Like any, creative industry, change is a constant, and with apps like TikTok and Triller turning unknowns into overnight sensations, it feels like that change is coming faster than ever nowadays.
While many new music tech companies are trying for subtle tweaks on existing concepts, there are plenty of aspects of the modern industry that do genuinely need refreshing. These range from the prohibitive costs of studio software to how we can watch concert footage and support artists to the role of radio in sharing and discovering new acts.
We highlighted seven companies and apps that are empowering both musicians and fans to create and connect in these alienating times.