The following is a short extract from the introduction to a book I am currently writing, the title of which is Reimagining Classical Music for the Digital Age.
The music industry has experienced substantive disruption over the past three decades following the emergence of digital technology and the distribution of music as a digital good. The introduction of audio-specific file formats, streaming technologies (audio and video), and mobile technology and networking has irrevocably altered patterns of artistic, commercial and social exchange between producers and consumers of music. Shifts in the logics that define the music industry has implications for musicians, publishers, record labels, and music consumers. Although much has been written about the impact of digital innovation on popular genres such as pop and rock, less attention has been afforded niche music markets such as jazz, folk, and the classical music sector, the latter of which is the focus of this book.
Classical music may not seem like the most obvious setting in which to consider digital adaption, indeed it might be argued that the art form is antithetical to digital technology, the latter of which is commonly associated with distraction and the fragmentation of audience attention. And yet, orchestras and opera companies must adapt digital technology or risk becoming (further) marginalised in an increasingly techno-literature society. As will be demonstrated in chapter 1, symphony orchestras, opera companies are using digital technology to reimagine relationship with audiences and other stakeholders, for example, by adapting digital marketing strategies including social media marketing to engage audiences in new ways. Chapter 5 focuses on how social media marketing is helping to advance the mission of orchestras as they compete for audience attention, which has become a scarce commodity in the digital economy.
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