Music and tech — completely different animals?

Music and tech — completely different animals?

Tech invests in talent in the form of developers, engineers, and marketers, then retains them through compensation and stock options. Music invests in talent in the form of artists and retains them through complex legal agreements.

Tech produces a product and sells a license to it, historically as “packaged” software, but increasingly as a service. Music sells recordings, largely in the form of physical product and downloads, but actually just licenses it. Both are moving rapidly from ownership to access. The former embraces it, while the latter is conflicted, to say the least.

Tech employs customer discovery and development in order to find the ones who’ll buy. Music markets to large demographics swaths based on previous product sales.

Music has always been about “user experience.” Tech has only recently discovered that they should too.

Tech builds platforms and components with an eye to reusability and longevity. Music builds hits and sometimes brands.

Tech is free market. Music is semi-regulated.

Tech is West coast code. Music is East coast code.

Tech (read: consumer apps) have a shelf life measured in months and shrinking. For Music, it has always been so.

Music has numerous revenue streams on which to build. Tech has license fees or subscriptions and sometimes service and support.

Tech product is directly and inextricably connected to the company that makes it. Music (read: labels and publishers) has almost no direct connection to consumers.

Tech embraces “release early and often.” With few exceptions, Music releases only finished, polished product.

Tech was once all need, but has become equal parts want. Music has always been want, but is striving to be need.

© 2024 Shawn Yeager. Made in Nashville.