Tumbler IRL: The Digital Music Revolution Continues
It was a mere 15 years ago that Metallica filed a lawsuit against digital music host Napster, an act that would spawn more than a decade of bad blood between music artists and the concept of digital music. Today, digital music availability is widespread. And, although there are still some bad apples bobbing in the piracy seas, accountability for digital music has made leaps and bounds. There is a growing list of apps and services that provide music for customers, and more artists are buying in.
One of the most recent incarnates of digital music ingenuity is Tumblr IRL. This service is unique because it doesn’t just provide a digital recording of a song, but instead gives listeners a digital experience. The service digitizes a performance, in real life and in real time, and then offers some pretty sweet visuals in addition to the live tunes.
Tumblr claims that Tumblr IRL is an invitation for fans to peek behind the curtain of their favorite artist’s world. The company has partnered directly with the artists to create these audio-visual experiences that reflect the artist’s inspirations, passions and artistry through a medium that transcends the traditional concert setting.
Artists such as Childish Gambino, Manchester Orchestra and Broken Bells have already signed onto Tumblr IRL. And, this week at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, Australian rock-ette Courtney Barnett teamed with Tumblr IRL to provide fans with an immersed experience.
Mobile Data Concerns
The accessibility of services like Tumblr IRL conjures up a new can of worms for music fans due to the sheer amount of data that it could possibly eat up. As digital music continues to expand, cell phone and service providers are working hard to keep up with its growth and their customer’s demands.
For example, many music fans choose to buy phones with T-Mobile because of its Music Freedom program, which lets its subscribers stream music from different services without counting it against their monthly data amount. Plus, T-Mobile just added many new music apps to its list of supported services, including heavy-hitters like Google Play Music, Xbox Music, SoundCloud, RadioTunes, Digitally Imported, Fit Radio and Mad Genius Radio. And, these options join the long list that already include Spotify, Pandora, iTunes Radio and Grooveshark.
T-Mobile estimated that the company streamed more 7,000 TB of music not counted against data caps to users in this program. They guess that the average daily streaming data used is now around 200 TB. Since the average data cost is $10 per 2 GB, this could potentially save subscribers quite a bit of dough.
The accessibility of digital music to the modern music aficionado is expanding as quickly as the technology that supports it can keep up. With services such as Tumblr IRL, digital music is starting to win over fans and artists alike. And, companies like T-Mobile are signing on to work with the tsunami of sound available online to bring music to listeners without gouging them.
Music and technology have come a long way in the past 15 years, since Metallica rode the lightning into the courtroom against Napster. Fortunately, we’ve learned a few things since then because the pace of digital music availability is showing no sign of slowing down