A number of leading industry execs assembled today to discuss the future of the music industry at BIME 2016.
Moderated by The Orchard founder Scott Cohen, the panel comprised Cooking Vinyl owner Martin Goldschmidt, Ableton CEO Gerhard Behles, WIN CEO Alison Wenham and Deezer VP southern Europe and MEA Phil Moore.
One of the event’s more lively sessions, it covered everything from music consumption habits to the influence of drugs and pornography upon the music industry.
On the ever-evolving nature of consumption, Cohen stated his view that technological advances will always be the key factor in how we engage with music. “Technology is driving the evolution of music consumption, not the consumer,” he said.
According to Moore, the industry as a whole stands to benefit from the rapid development of tech, adding: “New technologies are opening up the way we consume music. And that’s great news for the industry because people can now conveniently consume music 24/7, whether it’s at home on vinyl, in the car, on the train or out running.”
As conversation moved to albums vs singles and the ways in which technology will affect the way music is made, Goldschmidt offered his view that wider social and cultural factors will continue to be the overriding influence on new music.
“Music exists in a vacuum and it is always affected by outside influences, like drugs,” he said. “You like at the type of drugs people were taking in different eras and you can see the ways they have affected the music of that time. Also, things like porn and gaming have affected the way technology is developed, and that shapes consumption methods. Music reflects culture.”
Picking up the subject of tech, Wenham noted that the industry is now beginning to co-exist with the digital world.
“We’ve had a really bumpy 15 years in the industry, but now we are more comfortable with technology,” she commented. “It’s now just a part of our everyday life.”
She then drew the biggest laugh of the day, adding: “This panel is a fucking fraud. We haven’t got a clue what’s going to happen in the future!”