Why Is It So Hard To Get Paid In the Music Industry?

Guest Post: Why Getting Paid In The Music Industry Is So Complicated, And How It Can Be Better

Guest Post: Why Getting Paid In The Music Industry Is So Complicated, And How It Can Be Better

 

David Balto is a lawyer and consumer advocate based in Washington, D.C., who previously served as the policy director of the Federal Trade Commission.

In Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow’s recent op-ed called The Penny Paradox, he asked, “Isn’t a song worth more than a penny?” The problem, as outlined by Portnow, is that artists aren’t being paid enough for their work. However, this is a gross oversimplification of a more complicated issue of payment in the music industry. An issue that, unfortunately, consumers (and artists) are caught in the middle of as powerful and less powerful interests fight over how to divide payments amongst themselves.

When Portnow is talking about a song being worth a penny he is, of course, not talking about someone being able to own a song for an actual penny. He is talking about the cost per listen of a single license. An interactive music streamer like Spotify needs two licenses to serve a single song to a customer, and three licenses under certain circumstances. When a consumer buys a song, they make one payment and own it forever. Streaming a song is not ownership, and royalties must be paid for each listen.

This leads to a complex picture of how artists earn money. They can get one payment from a fan that buys their album or a recurring payment as a fan continues to play their songs on a streaming service. Artists can also get paid both ways from a single fan — a correlation between internet radio “spins” and sales were found in 2014.

It gets even more complicated. Artists own different copyrights and get paid differently based on whether they wrote the song and/or recorded the song. They deal with different middlemen and the licensing is handled through different organizations: SoundExchange for sound recording rights, a publishing rights organization like ASCAP or BMI for the performance right and individual publishers for each song’s mechanical rights.

ASCAP and BMI are currently regulated through agreements made with the Department of Justice that are regulated by federal courts which stress fairness and transparency. These agreements were necessary because collective bargaining — like that done through ASCAP and BMI — is illegal under antitrust laws, but all parties considered it necessary to have a collective bargaining system to cut down contracting costs in a complex industry. In other words, it’s a narrow exception to the general rules of a competitive market.

And now it’s getting even more complicated. Publishers, some of which have market power, are lobbying the DOJ to make changes in the consent decrees to allow them to withhold music from radio, venues and streaming services. These changes would let publishers jump out of ASCAP and BMI when it suits them. So much for fairness and non-discrimination. And so much for fair prices for consumers.

Publishers will also be able to agree amongst themselves not to license a performance right unless all owners of a copyright assent. This will give even small owners of a copyright complete control, not just over performance rights but over the sound recording as well. If a five percent owner of the performance rights to Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” refuses to license, for instance, that not only affects other owners of the performance rights, but also Justin Bieber’s royalty payments for the sound recording. A music user has to license all rights to play a song, and if any fractional owner had veto rights they would be able to control the destiny of the entire song and every sound recording, not just what they own.

This didn’t matter when radio and venues could contract with ASCAP and BMI, each of which has to license to all comers at a fair rate. But in a world where publishers can be in and out of ASCAP and BMI, it suddenly matters a great deal. This has the potential to not only hurt consumers, but also artists who can’t get their song played because an owner of a small piece of it refuses to license. Ultimately, both consumers and artists will lose.

I do not agree with Portnow on the simple solution that payments for songs need to increase. This is the solution before the DOJ right now, and it will likely lead to tremendous harm to consumers and potentially artists (we don’t know how much of that increase, if any, will filter through to them and how much will be pocketed by the powerful publishers). However, I do agree that we can do better and that solutions must come from Congress.

Congress, for example, could set up a one-stop shop for the complete bundle of rights needed to play a song, and all the rights owners could divide those payments among themselves. This would make it easy to agree on a payment that is good for artists while still allowing streaming services to be profitable (important after the Copyright Royalty Board’s rate increase led to the closure of many smaller independent and local services). Congress also has many more options to make sure the most vulnerable parties, consumers, and artists, are protected.

Article Via Billboard.Biz

 

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Why Some Record Labels Fail, While Others Succeed?

What I Learned Working with a Label That Failed

 

In early 2015, I was invited to join a “dream team” of music industry professionals.

This team consisted of a former VP of a major record label, a manager from a “major” indie artist, as well as an assembly of top-notch graphic designers, publicists and assistants. Our mission was to work with a brand new record label and assist them in acquiring a larger fanbase and overall develop their brand.

From the surface we succeeded: Social media numbers skyrocketed, we garnered healthy press coverage, and we even had two of their artist chart on radio. Not to mention, we had some official showcases, as well some fun opening spots.

However, despite this, the label ended up folding. Some of their (very talented) roster still operates with them, but what I assume is just until their contracts expire, or they recoup their recording costs.

So, how did this happen? They had the talent, a good team, and not to mention the capital, so… what happened? And more importantly, what can artists, labels and managers learn from this?

 

Baby Steps

The New Artists Were Treated Like Vets.

Their artists were talented, very talented. One issue I found was that the label wanted myself and my team to completely take over the artist’s social media channels. However, they weren’t ready developmentally for a team to just completely take over their brand and social media.

Come to think of it, even my major artist clients don’t have a team handling their social completely. You might have someone schedule certain portions of content or maybe offer an extra set of hands during a tour, but for the most part, as an artist, you need to showcase your brand online.

Especially when that brand is still being developed.

This led to the artists feeling as if the label wasn’t “portraying their brand” appropriately online. They felt as if tweets went out in a tone that wasn’t “their voice”. And well, yeah — because it wasn’t their voice. Their brand was still too green for someone else to handle it.

These guys were still finding their voice as an artist, so they needed to tweet, do videos and interact on their own. Because they were still growing.

In today’s digital era, your online footprint — your imagery, your tweets, your ‘gram posts — are just as important as your music. You can have a dope track that’s getting radio play, but if your fans aren’t sharing it online, then it’s going to just fizzle out. You can have a team help you out with this, I recommend it, but handing it off completely to a third party — is a bit dangerous.

But social media really wasn’t the problem…

We did well on social media. The pages grew, and we got some great online traction during releases. However, when an artist doesn’t feel as if they have control of their art — the energy stops. You don’t need this, especially from a young artist. I already spoke on how the artist is the CEO, even with a label. You certainly don’t want “too many chefs in the kitchen” spoiling this. You need to give your artist’s room to grow.

However, let’s also talk about this from a growth standpoint. One of the guys on the “consultant team” was an industry vet of 30+ years or so. He’s also the manager of an artist that’s been the indie king, before indie was practical. He’d often gruff that our artists haven’t “paid their dues” yet.

And while that may seem like something any vet would say to a rookie — it’s actually a valuable piece of insight.

By putting a new artist on a pedestal, you’re selling the artist a lifestyle that might not actually come into fruition. The artist needs to be spending time networking, and remaining active on social media — rather than thinking: “The team will handle it”.

This is a major way to set an artist up for failure — by giving them illusions that they’re on the road to success, when their brand still hasn’t matured.

This was ridiculously summarized one week when we were on the road. The artists went out to a few clubs the night before a key performance. The label’s “A&R” pushed them to go, labeling it as “networking”. But in reality, it was just an excuse for them to stay out all night. Did they network? Maybe. But I do know that the only thing to come from their “network outing” was two artists oversleeping, with hoarse voices the day of their major showcase.

Another quick observation was the naivety that a track was going to go viral on it’s own — or the fact that we’d have thousands of pre-orders for these relatively known artists.  Sure, the artist is good — and might be popping in your backyard, but we have to ensure that we have a working platform before we can expect to see massive results and brand awareness.

 

Wheels.

We Confused Movement with Progress

I want to be very clear about the dynamic of this partnership, and the dynamic of any client-agency relationship. It’s your duty to tell your client what their doing a bad idea. In this circumstance, the CEO of the label hired us because he was rather green when it came to the music industry.

However, the CEO would often go against our advice, a lot of this centered around pay-for-play.

The CEO wanted to ensure the artists saw movement, he wanted his artists satisfied because they were playing “during” SXSW, they were being posted on blogs, or they were opening for acts. While this is true, you need to keep your artists happy with movement, that movement isn’t always progress.

We bought onto gigs, which was a great experience for the artist — but didn’t really result in new fans or even moved merch. Especially when the line-up was jam packed with other folks who paid to play.

We paid to get onto blogs, which the artist thought was cool, but at the end of the day,they were mid-tier and some top blogs, who rarely even shared the article on their social outlets. It was found on the website sure — but it wasn’t on the main page, or on their social media. So, who saw it? Aside from the fans we shared it with.

And yes, we boosted on social and more, but the key to PR is to make connections with journalists, not pay to be on a blog that isn’t even promoting their own article.

Similarly, why spend money on paying for shows, when you could be spending time pitching talent buyers and building relationships with venues. Or even spending time genuinely connecting with other bands, so those other artists invite you on as an open act. Organically. Without paying a dime.

One thing we did well was radio. Our guys were great on the microphone, and we had them on the road, going to stations spinning their work to do interviews. This led to more airplay, and it even led to a few music festival opportunities. Did it cost money to send them across the country doing press? Yes. But did it result in more authentic reach? Yep.

Our radio campaign was a great example of using leverage, to further a message. While, all of the paid work, was us moving without progression.

I guess I should also note that we likely relied too heavily on a radio promoter. After some time, we should have stopped outsourcing it, and brought the radio promotion in-house. Since we were already making connections, and we already sunk a pretty penny into the artists radio campaigns. This could have simply been us paying too much for a promoter, rather than a bad marketing move.

Watching a promising label sink a lot of money into pay-for-play, and pay-for-post opportunities, to the point that they were hurting financially, is why I’m such a vocal component of authentic PR and booking strategies.

However, we wanted to move. The wheels were spinning, but we weren’t really going anywhere.

The key here is leverage.

If you get a blog post, that blog post better be posted on the outlet’s social media, and be a genuine write-up, not just a copy and paste.

If you open up for an artist, there needs to be good marketing via the venue, and you need to ensure you’ll have a chance to connect with fans and move merch.

Sure, you can move, but you have to grow and progress as well. Simple movement isn’t enough, you need to go somewhere. Not just turn your wheels.

In this case, the CEO was paying big money to move our wheels — which later led to the label’s demise.

Cookie Cutter

We Tried Using a Cookie Cutter Approach

The label had four prominent artists: One was an R&B act, two were rappers , and lastly, the label had an indie rock group, to round things out.

While the label kept pushing to use one marketing approach for all artists, you simply cannot use a “copy/paste” view when looking at these three artists. For instance, one could think you can lump the R&B artists and two rappers into one category, however, not so much.

The R&B artist was young and still really appealed to the 13-17 year old demographic. Whereas the two rappers had lyrical content that mainly dealt with sex, drugs and partying.

But even the two rappers were incredibly different — one was more of a lyricist, who had a very “mainstream” vibe to him. While the other had more of a rough image, a focus on production and had lyrical content that was a bit more “in your face” than the other rapper.

Despite having these very different artists, the label insisted they be booked at the same showcases, which, weren’t too bad. Until you remember, oh damn, they had an indie rock band, too!

Yes, the indie rock group was scheduled to play at a hip hop showcase in Austin, Texas.

That’s the thing, the team had in-depth experience surrounding hip hop, and the indie rock group suffered from it. The  group was also incredibly talented, and actually had the most fan interaction on the label. They also (since there was 4 of them) seemed to take a lot of marketing initiative on their own.

The booking issue also came to a head when they were trying to book the rapper, who had a radio single explicit about sex, to play a high school tour. Because it worked for the R&B singer. Luckily, we convinced them to not go that route.

But the differences are more nuanced than just booking decisions. For instance, even if the two rappers were both “hip hop artists” things such as radio stations, press outlets, and even advertising keywords were going to change.

 

Contracts

The Artists Needed Development, Not Contracts.

I’m not a legal expert, and I tend to refer my clients to folks that know more about contracts than I do. However, I do know that an artist shouldn’t have to be held to ridiculously high recoup costs, when there isn’t really a platform yet.

The label seemed to have these artists under agreements that some may consider standard industry fare. However, the label was brand new!

The label/artist relationship is symbiotic. For the artist to make money, the artist has to recoup the money that the label invested. So if the label spends 15K on recording, then the artist won’t see any money until they recoup that 15K. That’s on both of the label and artist to work towards.

However, the label wasn’t at a place in which they had a system to make money, similarly, the artists weren’t at a place where they had popping fan bases who were willing to consistently buy an artist’s product. Sure, this seems a bit a Chicken-Egg situation, however, these artists didn’t need record label – bank loans, they needed to be taught how to carry themselves as artists. And instead of the label depending on the artists to really bring in revenue (miraculously), they needed to spend more time developing their booking, licensing and sales systems before signing various artists.

My team didn’t deal with the artist’s contracts, and more tried to get the label to a place in which they were profiting. However, this showed a naivety that exists in a lot of young labels. Folks think “if they build it, it’ll come” but… no, you have to build it well. You need a solid foundation and solid revenue strategy before signing on multiple artists.

As consultants, as labels, as managers, as publicists — we forget this simple fact that bares repeating:

We are assisting artists in promoting their creation. We are helping an artist bring light to their art.

There’s nothing sexy or cool about this — actually, it’s a lot of pressure. You’re ensuring that you are framing, protecting and promoting an artist’s vision. That’s heavy. Before you delve into any artist relationship, you need to ensure you are properly equipped to give them the spotlight that they deserve.

 

Concluding This.

The above four “reasons” were integral in this label failing, but at the end of the day — the major reason we failed was capital. If we were to have taken our time between each artist, we might still be trucking along on this. But we spent a lot of money turning wheels, and promoting our acts very quickly and rapidly.

Also, there was just a lot of foundational issues that still needed to be addressed and repaired. Those restorations could’ve taken quite some time.

But at the end of the day, despite the label folding, this was one of the most memorable projects I have had the privilege of working on. The “dream team” of consultants have gone on to do many successful and fun projects, and the guys at the label I still have an incredible amount of respect for. Not to mention these artists are still incredible musicians, and I’m sure they’ll find ways to succeed and prosper very soon.

 

Thanks @wtylerallen for this insight…..

As a music marketing strategist, Tyler Allen works with an extensive array of artists, labels, music tech, and music retail entities. Tyler began his music industry career with Sony Music Entertainment and RED Distribution, as well as the advertising industry. He is dedicated to giving veteran artists the tools to preserve their legacy, and new artists the tools to begin theirs (as well as everything in between). Learn more at wtylerconsulting.com.

11 Signs You Have the Grit You Need To Succeed

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There are a ton of qualities that can help you succeed, and the more carefully a quality has been studied, the more you know it’s worth your time and energy.

Angela Lee Duckworth was teaching seventh grade when she noticed that the material wasn’t too advanced for any of her students. They all had the ability to grasp the material if they put in the time and effort. Her highest performing students weren’t those who had the most natural talent; they were the students who had that extra something that motivated them to work harder than everyone else.

Angela grew fascinated by this “extra something” in her students and, since she had a fair amount of it herself, she quit her teaching job so that she could study the concept while obtaining a graduate degree in psychology at UPenn.

Her study, which is ongoing, has already yielded some interesting findings. She’s analyzed a bevy of people to whom success is important: students, military personnel, salespeople, and spelling bee contestants, to name a few. Over time, she has come to the conclusion that the majority of successful people all share one critical thing–grit.

Grit is that “extra something” that separates the most successful people from the rest. It’s the passion, perseverance, and stamina that we must channel in order to stick with our dreams until they become a reality.

Developing grit is all about habitually doing the things that no one else is willing to do. There are quite a few signs that you have grit, and if you aren’t doing the following on a regular basis, you should be.

You have to make mistakes, look like an idiot, and try again, without even flinching. In a recent study at the College of William and Mary, they interviewed over 800 entrepreneurs and found that the most successful among them tend to have two critical things in common: They’re terrible at imagining failure and they tend not to care what other people think of them. In other words, the most successful entrepreneurs put no time or energy into stressing about their failures as they see failure as a small and necessary step in the process of reaching their goals.

You have to fight when you already feel defeated. A reporter once asked Muhammad Ali how many sit-ups he does every day. He responded, “I don’t count my sit-ups, I only start counting when it starts hurting, when I feel pain, cause that’s when it really matters.” The same applies to success in the workplace. You always have two choices when things begin to get tough: you can either overcome an obstacle and grow in the process or let it beat you. Humans are creatures of habit. If you quit when things get tough, it gets that much easier to quit the next time. On the other hand, if you force yourself to push through it, the grit begins to grow in you.

You have to make the calls you’re afraid to make. Sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do because we know they’re for the best in the long-run: fire someone, cold call a stranger, pull an all-nighter to get the company server back up, or scrap a project and start over. It’s easy to let the looming challenge paralyze you, but the most successful people know that in these moments, the best thing they can do is to get started right away. Every moment spent dreading the task subtracts time and energy from actually getting it done. People that learn to habitually make the tough calls stand out like flamingos in a flock of seagulls.

You have to keep your emotions in check. Negative emotions will challenge your grit every step of the way. While it’s impossible not to feel your emotions, it’s completely under your power to manage them effectively and to keep yourself in a position of control. When you let your emotions overtake your ability to think clearly, it’s easy to lose your resolve. A bad mood can make you lash out or stray from your chosen direction just as easily as a good mood can make you overconfident and impulsive.

You have to trust your gut. There’s a fine line between trusting your gut and being impulsive. Trusting your gut is a matter of looking at decisions from every possible angle, and when the facts don’t present a clear alternative, you believe in your ability to choose; you go with what looks and feels right.

You have to give more than you get in return. There’s a famous Stanford experiment where an administrator leaves a child in a room with a marshmallow for 15 minutes, telling the child that she’s welcome to eat the marshmallow, but if she can wait until the experimenter gets back without eating it, she will get a second marshmallow. The children that were able to wait until the experimenter returned experienced better outcomes in life, including higher SAT scores, greater career success, and even lower body mass indexes. The point being that delay of gratification and patience are essential to success. People with grit know that real results only materialize when you put in the time and forego instant gratification.

You have to lead when no one else follows. It’s easy to set a direction and believe in yourself when you have support, but the true test of grit is how well you maintain your resolve when nobody else believes in what you’re doing. People with grit believe in themselves no matter what and they stay the course until they win people over to their way of thinking.

You have to meet deadlines that are unreasonable and deliver results that exceed expectations. Successful people find a way to say yes and still honor their existing commitments. They know the best way to stand out from everyone else is to outwork them. For this reason, they have a tendency to over-deliver, even when they over promise.

You have to focus on the details even when it makes your mind numb.Nothing tests your grit like mind-numbing details, especially when you’re tired. The more people with grit are challenged, the more they dig in and welcome that challenge, and numbers and details are no exception to this.

You have to be kind to people who have been rude to you. When people treat you poorly, it’s tempting to stoop to their level and return the favor. People with grit don’t allow others to walk all over them, but that doesn’t mean they’re rude to them, either. Instead, they treat rude and cruel people with the same kindness they extend to anyone else, because they won’t allow another person’s negativity to bring them down.

You have to be accountable for your actions, no matter what.
People are far more likely to remember how you dealt with a problem than they are how you created it in the first place. By holding yourself accountable, even when making excuses is an option, you show that you care about results more than your image or ego.

Bringing It All Together

Grit is as rare as it is important. The good news is any of us can get grittier with a little extra focus and effort.

 

Thanks to Dr. Travis Bradberry for Post!

Author of #1 bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and president of TalentSmart, world’s leading provider of emotional intelligence.

SoundExchange Hits $3 Billion Payout Milestone

Let’s Show SoundExchange Some L-O-V-E

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The popularity of digital radio services in the United States has turned into big money for the record industry. SoundExchange announced Wednesday it has distributed over $3 billion in digital performance royalties to record labels and performing artists since 2003.

“Three billion dollars in distributions marks a phenomenal milestone not just for SoundExchange, but for the entire music industry,” said SoundExchange President and CEO Michael Huppe, in a statement.

Nearly half of these royalties have been paid in just the last two years. SoundExchange paid out $773 million — over 25 percent of the total — in 2014 and $590 million — about 20 percent of total distributions — in 2013.

In 2004, the first year SoundExchange paid royalties, labels and performing artists received just $6 million. Driven by growth in Internet and satellite radio, annual distributions reached $100 million in 2008.

Future distributions could be affected by a change in royalty rates. The Copyright Royalty Board, a three-judge panel that sets the statutory rates for the non-interactive Internet radio services that pay SoundExchange, will announce rates for 2016 to 2020 before the end of the year. SoundExchange has proposed a considerable rate hike. Pandora has proposed a decrease.

Not all distributions will be affected by the decision. Current rates for satellite and cable radio extend through 2017. And Pandora has privately negotiated rates with independent rights organization Merlin.

But a rate change would impact a large — and growing — share of U.S. record industry revenues. SoundExchange distributions accounted for 15.8 percent of U.S. recorded music revenues last year, up from 5.6 percent in 2010.

Story 1st Spotted at Billboard.biz August 5, 2015

What SONG Earned the Most Royalties 1st Quarter 2014?

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Yep! That’s right….

The song that earned the most royalties in the quarter was Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse (feat. Juicy J).” Billboard estimates the song produced $883,000 from U.S. Radio performance and mechanical royalties. Ryan Tedder was the top writer for the second quarter in a row.  Billboard estimates that his credits for five songs — “Counting Stars,” by his band OneRepublic, Ellie Goulding’s “Burn”, Demi Lovato’s “Neon Lights, Maroon 5’s “Love Somebody”, and the Fray’s “Love Don’t Die” — generated $881,000 revenue in mechanical royalties from U.S. album sales and track downloads, and performance royalties from U.S. radio airplay in the first quarter. Billboard estimates he earned $582,000 that in the previous quarter from the three Top 100 radio songs he had a hand in writing.

Want to know what company ranked #1 for 2014 1st Quarter Royalties?

Sure you do…. Click Here

FYI all of you Music Artists….the money is in writing/publishing! So get to the business….

WHY ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN TWITTER: DO SOMETHING!

TWITTER OUTRAGE CAN BE MISLEADING

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We love Twitter here at WCMM! But when it comes to bringing awareness, implementing solutions for important causes and impacting the lives of real people – Twitter can’t be the beginning and the end of YOUR Action!

You know what I’m talking about….those momentary Twitter Outrages that last for about week (sometimes less) and then on to the next thing. Don’t get me wrong Twitter (especially “Black Twitter”) has sparked some real action and  is definitely a powerful TOOL in uniting voices and opinions on a single issue – but overall “Twitter Outrage” can be misleading.

We Say: GET UP, GET OUT, and DO SOMETHING!

Here’s Why… Via Our Folks at SocialTimes.com 

Twitter may seem like a huge network, giving voices to millions of Americans, but according to Civic Science Founder and CEO John Dick, its user base doesn’t represent demographics equally.

Twitter is only used by 20 percent of the U.S. population, and the Twitter user base isn’t representative of the majority of the populace, according to a recent Civic Science study. In fact, it differs from the Twitterverse in a number of key ways. Compared to the non users surveyed, Twitter users are more likely to be under 35, 20 percent more likely to live in an urban area and less likely to have children.

The theory, according to Dick, is that these demographic differences are to blame for the outrage and confusion surrounding comments made by Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson last December. Cracker Barrel pulled Duck Dynasty merchandise after Robertson’s comments in GQ went viral, but only 40 hours later after a different outrage campaign, they reinstated the products.

Cracker Barrel fell into a common trap: “It mistook sentiment of social media’s most vocal users as reflective of broad-based public opinion, which it isn’t,” Dick wrote on AdAge.

When asked directly about Duck Dynasty and Cracker Barrel, Twitter users were seven percent less likely to say they loved or liked the show, six percent less likely to state a love for Cracker Barrel and nine percent more likely to say they were offended by Robertson’s comments.

Between the demographic data and the direct responses, it’s clear that Cracker Barrel was trying to appease the wrong audience. Marketers pay a lot of attention to Twitter and rightly so — it’s a very powerful marketing platform.

However, when reacting to scandal or social media outrage, companies should take a moment to think about which of their audiences they’re trying to please: customers yelling at them via email, or non-customers yelling at them on Twitter.

Technology: I Love You……I Hate You!

Our obsession with technology is increasingly becoming our frustration.

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As we continue to immerse ourselves in technology and live ever more “on the grid,” we are simultaneously digging in our heels, nostalgic for days when our lives were more anonymous and less immediate. We are growing into our tech-connected selves, but we are also fraught with confusion about what lies ahead.

Heading into 2014, the evolution of our tortured love/hate relationship with technology is going to define and direct what we want and how we think.

Ann Mack, the director of trend spotting at New York City advertising agency JWT, has broken down our future trajectory into a list of 10 directions that we human beings are being moved — in some cases propelled, in others dragged — in 2014 and beyond.

 

1. Immersive experiences. We expect more of our entertainment. It has to touch all of our senses.

Example: Wireless audio system maker Sonos has set up installations in NYC and Los Angeles where color washes, lighting and animation coordinate with the music playing out of speakers.

 

2. Talk with pictures. We live in an increasingly visual world. With a personal camera, video camera and computer in our hands all day long every day, we Instagram our breakfast, Vine our walk to work, Tweet pictures of our friends at dinner and post pictures on Facebook of our living room redecoration.

Example: Online dating site Tinder gets 350 million swipes each day. There are no long-winded, oversharing profiles to fill out or read; users judge exclusively on photos.

 

3. Faster, faster, faster. We are in the midst of what Mack has called “the age of impatience.” Customers expect more, faster and more conveniently than ever before. And, we are growing increasingly impulsive.

Example: EBay Now will deliver anything you want from a local merchant in roughly an hour for $5.

 

4. Mobile technology as a ticket to opportunity. Having a phone now means that you are connected. Increasingly, mobile technology — even the simple SMS text message — is being leveraged to bring access to health care, education, and finance to people in developing nations.

Example: A partnership between Vodafone and Turkey’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture allows farmers to receive updates on the weather, government regulations and the market price of goods.

 

5. Computers reading our minds. Emotion-recognition software and brain-computer interfacing means the technology around you is able to register your mood. (So while you make be faking a smile, your smartphone might know better.)

Example: Food and beverage company Nestle tracked students brainwaves in a “brain booth” while they were eating a Kit Kat bar and then with that data, created an illustration, unique to each person.

 

6. You really can’t hide, ever. If you have a mobile device with you, then companies and governments can probably find you. And most people are pretty creeped out by this. (But not creeped out enough to put down their smartphones, of course.)

Example: Tesco gas stations in the U.K. have monitors that analyze the gender and age of the people standing in front of them and show ads based on the results. The monitoring system also knows how long a consumer has looked at a particular ad.

 

7. We kind of all hate the technology we worship. In an effort convince ourselves that we have not literally crawled inside our own computers and that we do really still maintain interpersonal relationships with things other than our smartphones, there is an increasing preference for things that are human and “off the grid.”

Example: Musicians such as She & Him, Jack White, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Prince have asked their audiences to keep their smartphones tucked away during concerts so they aren’t looking out onto a sea of iPhone screens.

 

8. No tradition is too sacred to be smushed up and remastered. Long-standing rituals are going in the blender and coming out the other side with new, redefined social norms.

Example: We are spending less time bent over prayer books in pews, but in the U.S. and U.K., secular “godless congregations” are seeking to bring people together for many of the community benefits and ritualistic gatherings associated with Sunday churchgoing.

 

9. Perfection is overdone. As technology makes our daily lives more precise, curated and busy, we lust for the imperfect, the slightly off-kilter, the quirky, the human essence in experiences and objects.

Example: An Austrian grocery store chain called Billa launched a line of slightly imperfect fruits and vegetables that it called “Wunderlinge.” The word itself is a combination of the word for “anomaly” and the word for “miracle.”

 

10. We all just want to be zen. As we get busier and busier and busier, and our smartphones — and therefore our connectivity to the world — follows us from the office to the car to the train to the home and back again, we all are looking for how to stay calm. Living in the moment isn’t just for the yoga studio anymore.

Example: Virgin Atlantic had meditation gurus develop videos to stream on its flights teaching consumers how to sleep and stay calm when they are bored.

 

Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/230202#ixzz2mx35c1wX