Spotify, Virtual Reality, Music Festivals and Other Thoughts


If you’re not playing the Spotify game, you’re behind. Spotify just hit 70 Million PAYING users and its got A lOT of room to grow.  It’s IPO this year will bring in plenty of cash for the company to bolster its growth; so the platform is currently at a fraction of its future potential impact.  It’s transparent and its filling in the void Facebook is leaving by connecting fans and artists without the tricks, BS, or money.  It’s the way of the future.  If you’re not customizing your page, acquiring followers, and using it’s data then I suggest you start.

Virtual Reality in the Music Industry

Virtual reality isn’t a thing of the future; it’s already here.  I have a buddy who has a cuttingedge VR setup that he put together with some of the best hardware and software out there, and let me tell you, 30 seconds in with the headset and headphones, and you’re completely transformed in to another world.   It’s pretty incredible how immersed you are and how real it all feels.  Just imagine what the implications are for the music industry.  Virtual concerts are already taking place, but there’s still a pretty big affordability and accessibility barrier.  The technology will not only become more affordable and more accessible, it will also become better!  But the development of virtual concerts for current artists isn’t what excites me …what’s truly exciting is the ability to go back and experience some of the most historic musical performances of all time.  You could experience The Beatles at Shea Stadium, James Brown at The Apollo, Johnny Cash at Folsom State Prison,  Jimi Hendrix at The Monterey Music Festival etc…Sure I know it wouldn’t be the real thing, but it would be pretty incredible. And it wouldn’t be unfathomable for a good portion of homes to have the technology to do this by 2030.

The Music Festival Experience

The musical acts are what gets people to the festival, but the experience of everything else is what keeps them coming back and spreading the word to their friends.  MusicFest, LJT, Chilifest, SXSW etc…all give you great music, but it’s the stories and memories of all of the things that take place outside of the main musical encounter like skiing in Steamboat, or free-base camping in Snook, or fireside jam sessions in Stephenville, or people watching in Austin that make it an unforgettable experience; rather than just a bunch of artists on a stage.  

The Four On Fox

I was excited for Fox’s new singing show The Four, 1) because I thought it would have more variety than The Voice and American Idol and 2) because I thought it would be mainly originals.  Well I did enjoy that there was a little more variety (latin, hip-hop, etc…) but was sorely disappointed to see that it was all covers…I’m not sure why I thought it was going to be mainly originals the artists would be performing; I guess I should’ve looked into it more before watching it. But I didn’t even make it half way through before I was bored with it. It’s nothing new. It’s a “vocalist competition” just like the others. My question is, why can’t we get a show where artists of different genres perform originals or at least songs that haven’t been recorded by anyone else. New artists, performing new content; what a novel concept. The only one you can occasionally get that on, is America’s Got Talent; maybe that’s why it’s the only one I actually watch an entire season of.  Don’t get me wrong I do enjoy The Voice, but one vocalist competition is enough. There’s no need for another one. I may be completely alone here, but I think artists performing their own, or unheard, content, would do well and correspond with the younger generation’s thirst for new song discovery. Maybe one day…

Google Vs Facebook

Google searches are bringing more traffic for artists and Facebook is bringing less.  If you’re an artist and you’ve haven’t googled yourself, I would get on it and see what’s coming up; especially above the fold. Search results are powerful, and are only becoming more powerful as time goes by.  They took a backseat for awhile due to Facebook, but they’re currently pulling back in to the driver’s seat. If your website isn’t up to date and isn’t the first result that comes up when you type in your name, then hire a web guy to do some SEO and updates for your website.  It’ll be worth it.

Just Call it Pop

My biggest complaint about some of what’s being presented as country music on mainstream radio, actually isn’t the music and the content itself, it’s just that they’re calling it country.  Just call it what it is: pop.  Just call them what they are: pop artists, and honestly I’d be ok with it.  I wouldn’t like it anymore than I do now, but at least I wouldn’t feel like they’re trying to pull the wool over my eyes.  I’m not even talking about “pop country” here; I’m talking about straight “pop” that’s being played on “country radio”.  I’m probably not the best judge of pop music, but some of  it could probably even be classified as good pop music (SOME, not all).  There’s nothing wrong with enjoying some pop from time to time, I just wish they’d stop trying to convince me that’s its country music; especially good country music.  Call it pop, and maybe I’d be inclined to give it more of a chance; because it would feel a lot less disingenuous.  Just my opinion.

Author: Chris Fox

Music addict, a sucker for heartbreak songs, and avid Houston sports fan! I'am also the Editor-in-Chief of Texas Music Pickers.

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