How the introduction of smartphones changed the music industry

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It is difficult to pinpoint anything in our lives that hasn’t been affected by the introduction of smartphone technology. However, since the first smartphone was introduced to link our phones with the music players of the time, it seems that the music industry has experienced the most change it ever has in the last ten years.

The music business is still one of the biggest industries on the planet. However, this business is very different from what it was twenty years ago, and producers have had to explore new ways to make a profit from their music. This article will look at why this is while exploring some of the ways the introduction of the smartphone changed the music industry.

Death Of The Album

An album was one of the biggest sources of money in the music industry. Artists can hit the recording studio every few years and record a compilation of songs and place them under one umbrella. This album release would then provide the musician with enough material to tour with. Once the tour wrapped up, the artist could take a break before releasing new music. This album structure shaped the careers of every musician in the business and made the record companies a lot of money in the process.

Unfortunately, albums are no longer the cash cow they once were. Listeners are now able to download music directly onto their phones, which means that they are constantly on the lookout for new songs to put on their devices. As such, the singles that reach the download chart are more likely to be consumed, switching the focus of musicians to singles rather than full albums worth of material. Albums are still produced, but they make a lot less money than they once did.


For listeners to find the singles they want to add to their playlists, they must first find a platform to experience these songs. That is exactly what a music streaming service provides. In fact, you can find all sorts of different entertainment systems on your app store. For instance, you can click here to be taken to your favourite online casino, for example.

App technology is the most popular way to consume media in the modern era. People want a catch-all service for every source of entertainment, something that the smartphone has made available. Therefore, music streaming services were set up to hold thousands of songs in one place. The user is charged a monthly fee for the privilege of being able to search through a library of songs, and the artist receives a small percentage of this fee for allowing their music to be included. This means that artists are more likely to create music to catch the ears of a streamer, rather than aiming for radio play.

Broader Horizons

Knowing which artist is likely to become popular is tricky. That is why the 90s saw record producers manufacturing bands to shape the music landscape. Everything was very safe, with verse/chorus pop music dominating the charts. However, the layout of the music industry is now out of the record producer’s hands.

Any musical artist can record a song and put it online for anyone to hear. You can even use your smartphone to record yourself if that is what’s easiest. Therefore, listeners are being exposed to all kinds of musical styles, which means that smaller artists are getting a bigger slice of the streaming pie. What’s more, record producers and labels must be extremely careful about who they sign. The musical landscape could change at any moment.

Merch Sales Are Up

The best thing that smartphones have done for society is that they allow us all to access the internet from wherever we happen to be. This has brought us all closer together, but it also means that we now have access to goods that we wouldn’t have otherwise. Therefore, over 75% of people now do their shopping online.

While this statistic doesn’t mean much for the sales of music, it does mean that fans can get hold of more merch from their favourite bands. This has led to an increase in the amount of merchandise available to the consumer, and this merch is now one of the largest streams of revenue in the music industry.

Touring Is More Important

It may sound like the introduction of the smartphone has caused nothing but doom and gloom for prospective music artists. However, this is not the case. Just because album sales are down, that does not mean that the artists are going broke. It just means that they have had to find other ways of bringing in money.

Merch sales have obviously helped in this regard, but you will also notice that bands are touring more often in today’s musical landscape. This is because the artists need to recover the money that they have used to record their music. Since music sales are down, touring more often is their only solution. What’s more, the invention of streaming services has exposed people from all over the world to different forms of music. This means that bands now have access to new touring locations, making the average tour last longer than before.

Stereo Recording

When vinyl players were introduced, musicians often let their songs fade out instead of finishing naturally. This was to allow the listener time to flip the record to hear the other side. As you have probably noticed, this style disappeared alongside the vinyl player; however, that does not mean that artists aren’t recording without the music-playing device in mind.

As smartphones allow the listener to travel around and listen to their music using headphones, recording artists can now experiment with in-stereo sounds. This is the process of letting different notes permeate through two different places, the left, and the right earpiece. This creates a surreal effect, something that can only be experienced when listening to a song in this way. Therefore, more modern music is becoming psychedelic or experimental due to our listening habits.


It may not seem like it at first, but the introduction of smart technology has had a profound effect on the music industry. From the way you buy music, to the way it is produced, the music industry will never be the same again.