The networked shape of future audio

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“Audio” is what we now call the broad category of music, podcasts, books, lectures and many more variations of digital content. Radio became all that, diluted and subsumed by the Californian tech wave of on-demand and streaming business models. Whatever is left of the traditional industry and its century-long rise is now being progressively dismantled by three megatrends that will play out over the course of the next decade. All of them computational in nature, networked to the core.

These trends will transform our perception and consumption of audio, in ways that can be traced to a combination of current technical innovations, artistic impulses, and corporate road maps. Like the ones before it, this paradigm shift in our relationship with recorded sound will disrupt norms and behaviors, politics and culture, business and pleasure.