Where’s the Music?

By Claude Schmidt
Published on: March 12, 2021

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It seems that only yesterday I was lamenting about seasonal magic and poof it dawned on me that something was missing. I missed enjoying and discovering music!

It wasn’t long ago that the music business was on the receiving end of bleak outlooks and dismal financial returns. Notable acts were either planning their final goodbye shows after 40 and even 50-year long careers and laying down their instruments for the last time. Arena shows had run their course, replaced by the music festival. What happened to the emotional connections and the new-music Tuesdays that we had come to enjoy?

Always on the lookout for an interesting online thread, I recently stumbled across a conversation proposing the use of Google Chromecast Audio interfaces in a multi-room installation. Taking it one step further, would it be possible to elevate this multi-room experience by allowing users to stream Hi-Res Audio content? Having taken the bait, I was no longer an innocent bystander.

We all can recount many an impassioned water-cooler debate that began with the innocent mention of last night’s TV talent show performance. Complete with star talent and otherwise, staples such as American Idol, X-Factor, The Voice, and certain spin-offs persist. While these spin-offs don’t always show the same staying power, enter the Masked Singer. A radical twist on the familiar, the Masked Singer pits masked celebrities against one another and has made a name for itself in addition to being renewed for a second season. There’s more…

Recently released Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) data reveals that recorded music revenue grew rapidly for the third year in a row. In 2018 revenues from recorded music in the United States grew 12 percent to $9.8 billion at estimated retail value. More importantly, figures revealed a 29 percent increase in major label Studio Quality album releases versus one year ago. Doing the math, this adds up to roughly, 1,000 high-resolution albums per month, totaling over 33,500 albums and 400,000 tracks!

As an enthusiast and steward I am excited by these developments, in addition to rediscovering the music that I missed. Not only is technology elevating music production, but also the enjoyment level, including the at-home experience (yes, a suitable multi-room streaming solution was determined). No matter physical format, online, or even on TV, why not take a few moments to rediscover and reconnect with music?

A special thank you to:

Loren Roetman, Owner of Cloudburst Technology for the intriguing and inspired LinkedIn discussion on Chrome-casting multi-room Hi-Res Audio.

The Recording Industry Association of America, RIAA 2018 Music Industry Revenue Report, available at www.riaa.com/reports


Framing thoughts/notes:

Overall state of the music industry.

Artists, in general.

TV viewership on the rise…new shows.

RIAA announcement that sales are increasing.

Music for the masses.

They defined Studio Quality “encompassing both Hi-Res Audio (48 kHz/20-bit or higher) and a studio production format of 44.1 kHz/24-bit audio.” Apparently, the major labels are now releasing about 1,000 albums per month in Studio Quality formats, totaling up to roughly more than 33,500 albums or 400,000 tracks available to stream or download in the U.S. Wow!

TV-viewing followed suit with DVR and on-demand binge-watching becoming the rage. This extended to shifting music consumption with podcasting.

Big or small, the internet has become the forum for artists to be seen and heard.

We no longer consumed music by the album, but rather by “singles” or cherry-picked tracks.

Claude Schmidt

Claude Schmidt

Claude has touched audio in the Field and from Headquarters as a Product Expert, Content Marketer, Spokesperson, Radio Producer, Voice Actor, and most recently Marketing Director. He loves to challenge himself, understand the “how” of things, and roll up his sleeves to deliver innovative products and engaging marketing initiatives.

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