What Can the Apple Watch Do for the Music Business?

Although I’m not convinced that I really need an Apple Watch, I’ve decided that I’m going to order one of the cheap ones, anyway–especially after reading Bobby Owsinksi’s article in Forbes about what it might do for the music industry.

The tech world is abuzz today with the official unveiling of the Apple AAPL -1.99% Watch, but the music business can look upon it as a possible boon as well. The Apple Watch, which can be considered either a utilitarian or luxury item, appears to do many things well, and by the looks of it, music is one of them.

The music business has always produced plenty of music that customers want, but it’s been new delivery methods that have led to increased sales. The industry has historically turned on a dime with new technology that offers greater convenience.

For example, in the late 1800s, there was a healthy business built around sheet music and piano rolls, but when the Victrola was introduced in 1901, music lovers discovered a new portability along with the ability to hear their favorite artist any time they wanted. That’s when the music industry as we know it today was born.

Those original records were made of shellac, which were very brittle and prone to breakage, but the industry once again experienced a bump in revenue when the vinyl record was introduced. Vinyl was thinner, lighter and didn’t break as easily. Convenience won again.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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