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In my previous post on the future of listening to music, Futurist Magazine senior editor Patrick Tucker commented on how rapid advance of technology would ultimately lead to an evolution of cochlear-implant-like devices, and that content would be directly beamed to these devices in your head. During a WFS Annual Conference session on the End of the Written Word, Mr. Tucker referenced similar devices, and how they will eventually supplant the optic exercise of reading.
He also, rather ominously, declared that a major challenge to this process would be the ability of marketers to blast unlimited sales pitches for products to your brain in perpetuity. The only defense could be to simply turn the device off. Not the most efficient model. I asked Mr. Tucker if hitting the off switch was the only option, how could you be marketed to for the products you actually wanted, like a new album from you favorite band?
We would have to make conscious choices about what data streams we wish to subscribe to, pretty much the same way make decisions about what RSS feeds we like today. This means you would have to know a great deal about what you wanted to listen to in order to learn more about it, which is a Catch 22. However, I’m sure service-providers will pop up offering to find music for you in accordance with a list of stated preference.
The more interesting question might be, what other stuff will slip through the filter? Take the failure of the do-not-call- registry. I’m on it, but I still receive solicitation calls all the time. It used to be just nonprofits I had given money to. Today I get calls from banks looking not to “sell” me something but to “inform” me that my time is running out to act on some special offer. The idea of Bank of America, the Sierra Club, and the DCCC all talking in my head while I’m trying to listen to music bodes well for future musicians that can deliver music the really old-fashioned way, live [my emphasis].
So while constant touring is a major source of income for many acts, in the future, it will also be their most trusted marketing effort. Good news for DC fans and venues alike.