Artificial intelligence and voice-activated speakers
It’s time to take your eyes off the screen and put your mouth to the mic: voice-activated, smart speakers have replaced vases on the mantelpiece and are mostly being used to listen to music, a recent survey by Adobe Analytics found. That said, the current devices on the market have a way to go when it comes to matchmaking artists and fans. There is real potential to nurture this relationship beyond the ‘play Låpsley – Falling Short’-type commands. Ticketing, bonus content and interaction are just three areas ripe for development in this zone.
When it comes to voice commands, more detailed data could benefit listeners hoping to find albums mastered at Abbey Road in 2003 (The Vertigo of Bliss by Biffy Clyro, for example), or songs about Korean girls in the rain (Yaeji – Raingurl, for instance). Tagging powered by AI (at least partly) could aid this process, potentially translating into artists finding new followers who perhaps wouldn’t have stumbled across them otherwise, (that tagging being available in multiple languages would open up even more borders). Streamlining the process of getting into the same room as your artist could be a real selling point for smart speakers – cutting out search time, leaving space free for pumping up the jam. Maybe your device will let you know that your fav’ is coming to town in a little briefing when you enter the room, then offer for your artist’s voice to enter it too. Beyond the borders of listening to music and providing better ways to hear it live, the opportunities for the provision of exclusive content/new possibilities of interaction between music-makers and music-lovers are great: think about sending voice messages directly to artists or to enter a cover-singing competition. There is, of course, huge potential for music to be marketing in more innovative ways, perhaps also involving interaction on the part of smart speaker owners.
More fulfilling relationships between such devices and humans are visible on the horizon – let’s hope these turn into supportive marriages sooner rather than later, so that musicians and fans can get a little more intimate in the comfort of their own homes.