End of Semester Review

All good things must come to an end. It’s almost the end of the TWC course, and I must say, I have definitely gained a lot of insights and knowledge from this course. Reflecting on what I have learnt for the past 13 weeks, the crucial question still stands still: “Why do all you white men have so much cargo, while we Papua New Guineas have so little?”

In my opinion, the answer is staring right in front of us. Some countries clearly have more advantages than other, economically, politically, military wise etc. For example, countries with abundant wealth and resources tend to have greater economic and military control internationally. On the other hand, there are countries out there that lack such basic resources, which in turn dampens the growth of the country.

One of the reasons why some countries are not as developed as others could be due to the presence of leaders of a government. Leaders of developed countries tend to be more far-sighted and prioritise long term goals and growth for the country over their own personal interests. These leaders generally have the vision and aspiration to see the country prosper economically and be well-recognised. They would constantly focus on improving what’s already available and try to come up with and execute new ideas and advancements (the summit) that makes a difference in people’s lives. On the other hand, developing countries generally have weaker and corrupted governments that places their own personal self-interests over that of the country’s. As such, there is a lack of foresight in the country and tend to focus mainly on solving current problems then be forward looking. To put it simply, some countries basically lack far-sighted individuals that form the basis of development which in turn prevents them from progressing.

In addition, from what I have learnt in the past weeks, GM Food is essential as a means to solve the shortage of food supplies, especially in less developing countries. Hence, the use of technology is important here as it requires countries to move forward and produce more food to solve the issue of scarcity in these countries. However, having said that, given that less developing countries generally lack access to the advancements of technology, it is of paramount importance that developed countries do their part and give back to these less developing countries by providing education and impart the necessary skills to the people that require them. Increasingly, we are seeing many developed countries initiating projects that aim to provide less developed countries to have more sustainable future.

Throughout these 13 weeks, the key takeaways are as follows:
1) Ask “Why not” instead of “Why”-  the main reason why this is important is because it invokes positivism and far-sightedness, basically, any positive qualities you can think of.  One has to remember to open their minds to all kinds of possibilities when dealing with technology. Only then will we be able to succeed in relation to technological advancements.

2) Change is inevitable in this world, and this may explain why some countries can actually still move forward but some do not. We need to constantly learn how to change and adapt and embrace “change”. I feel that this is only possible with good collaboration between individuals and governments. A country has to have a visionary leader, or a potential individual that is able to look forward and embrace change, by constantly innovating using technology and good forecasting and assessment. Only then, will it bring economic growth and development to the country.

Personally, I’ve enjoyed TWC classes as it has really broaden my knowledge and made me realise the importance of keeping up with technology. Furthermore, it has made me realise my ignorance (on how I thought TWC was only about social media, as mentioned on day 1 of class) and spurred me to be more aware of future technological advancements! It has definitely equipped me with the necessary and relevant skills which I’m certain will help me in my future subjects as well. I definitely look forward to witnessing the potential of certain technological advancements emerging in the market as discussed in class over the past few weeks!

It’s definitely bittersweet, that on one hand I’m thankful that the sem is coming to an end (which means holidays!!) but which also means TWC classes have come to an end. Nonetheless, thank you Prof, TA Victor, my group mates and my classmates for this amazing and inspirational TWC course! It’s been a pleasure being in this class!

TWC Lesson 12

This was the final week of lessons and to round of this whole TWC module, we had 5 groups presenting!

Group 4 (postponed from last week)- Mind controlled Prosthetics
Group 1: Transhumanism
Group 2: GMO Food
Group 3: Sexual advertisements
Group 4: Virtual Reality

Mind-controlled Prosthetics & Transhumanism:
The first group generally focused on the current technologies, and one of the takeaways from their presentation was how 3D printing and mind controlled prosthetics technology have been incorporated together to create a better product in the market. Its amazing to know how in future with all the researches done, mind controlled prosthetics would be more natural for individuals- such that they can better control his limbs with better sensitivity and precision. The next group focused more on how technology might be the next step for individuals- cyborgs. Both groups actually talked about how it could be potentially unfair as only the rich would be able to gain access to these technologies whereas the poor would not be able to do so. Furthermore, those with access to such technology could also lead to unfair advantages in life. We see bionic arms and legs providing more strength and speed and this could also become dangerous as such power in the hands of citizens could become detrimental.

GMO Food:
This group deserves compliments!! I really liked how they started off with a skit to get into the focus, and I personally found it entertaining seeing Xindi in a jumpsuit and Chandan looking like a joke as a farmer! I found this topic very interesting as it focuses on  Yali’s questions of attaining more goods as well as satisfying the Millennium Goals. Interesting takeaway was about how In-Vitro meat can be made more nutritious than normal meat by extracting unwanted fat and injecting healthy omega fat. However, I feel that less developed countries would still not be able to get access to these technologies and it would probably be a long time before they get access. At the end of the day, countries need to take the first step, which is to invest in proper education and increase fundings so that citizens of the country will be able to have access to these technologies and in turn benefit the country.

Sexual Advertising:
Very interesting take on the topic, however I felt that I could not really see the link between TWC and this topic. They had many eye-catching examples to prove their point which was in my opinion, a good approach. Some takeaways were how technology will help future sexual advertisements- for example, 3D sex advertisements and augmented reality in advertisements.

Virtual Reality:
I really loved their introduction where they used the concept of a video to illustrate what VR means.  I think this group managed to cover a very wide scope of virtual reality applications and they also managed to give a detailed presentation on it. One advantage of virtual reality is that it is able to recreate almost any scenario in reality; with the ability to recreate even the most rarest of situations. This allows individuals to prepare themselves to act in a suitable manner to deal with the situation. It’s amazing how with the development of augmented reality, virtual reality  would allow us to wear contact lens that act as “google glass”.  However, this poses a threat on our privacy, and raises the importance of safeguarding on our privacy.

I’ll rate today’s lesson a 9/10. The content was pretty interesting and I would say today’s presentations have indirectly led us back to Yali’s question, which is a good revision for us. I have definitely gained a lot of knowledge through this TWC module and I’m really thankful for being in this class!
All the best to everyone taking finals!

Music & Technology

Music & Technology: How technology has affected the production, consumption & distribution of music today[1]

Olanda Cherie Low May Foong (olanda.low.2013@business.smu.edu.sg), 1st Year Student, School of Business, Singapore Management University (SMU) 

Executive Summary

The music industry is on the verge of collapse and this is due to the advancement of the digital age and technology today. This review paper will explore the issue of how the revolutions of the latest information and communications technologies have affected our music industry today. In particular, I will be looking into how they have affected the production, consumption and distribution of music, whether these technologies are a good replacement for the traditional ones we have had in the past and its future economic and legal implications on the music industry.

1) Introduction

Music technology today is a disruptive but essential change and there is no doubt that the functionality of music industry has transformed and transitioned the past 30 years. Technological advancements, such as the Internet and new music software have definitely changed the way songs are being produced, marketed and distributed today. These advancements have definitely eased the time to produce and consume music and have also made music more accessible in our lives through distribution channels such as YouTube and Spotify. (The Express Tribune, 2013) Nevertheless, this has brought about economic and legal implications on the music industry and they seek to threaten the traditional industry that was once dominating. However, there have definitely been ways and solutions to ensure that the economic aspects of the industry are not compromised, which this paper will discuss.

2) Historical Perspective
2.1) How music was produced in the past

In the past, instruments such as the piano and violin were used to produce music, where artistes and composers had to either write score sheets or compose by. E.g. Beethoven. Later on, artistes and bands moved on to record music in a studio or tape and this involved massive costs and only a few of artistes who were on record labels could afford them. Moreover, a producer and a studio engineer had to be present during recording. (Price, 2012)

2.2) How music was consumed in the past

For the past 50 years, consumers could only listen to music in two different ways: on AM/FM radio or purchasing pre-recorded music in formats such as CDs, vinyl  and cassettes etc. According to Yeh (2011), by 2000, CD sales in the United States had exceeded 785 million albums. (Tyler, 2013)  As such, this meant that billions of digital songs that were encoded on CDs had managed to get into the hands of hundreds of million people (Price, 2012) However, this meant that music could only be listened to using hard physical players, which was inconvenient and bulky to carry around.


2.3 How music was distributed in the past

Most CDs and vinyl were sold in brick and mortar CD stores, such as HMV, where people had to make a trip down to purchase their music. At the time, the social media had not become revolutionary yet, hence the only form of distribution of music would be through newspapers and word of mouth.


3) Current Situation

3.1) How music is being produced today

Technology has adversely affected the way music is being created and produced today. In the past where one had to spend massive amounts to record music in studios, the emergence of cheaper sources of technology today has allowed artistes to record albums at high quality with professional production values. For example, Garage Band, Audacity and the latest Apple Logic Pro X. (Apple, n.d.) Audacity is a free open source software which allows musicians to record and edit music tracks on the computer. (Vagueware, 2013) In addition, the use of auto-tuning software, which performs the exact same purpose as music by smoothing flat or sharp notes to make them perfect pitch has been popularized in the industry today. As mentioned by Daniel Griffiths, editor of music recording magazine Future Music, it’s mostly used in 99% of recorded music today. (Savage, 2010)


 3.2) How music is being consumed today

 With the growing proliferation of the Internet platform today, we are increasingly seeing more people consuming and listening to music digitally. People are now sharing music online and offering free downloads. While people had to purchase a complete album in stores in the past, they can now choose the ones they prefer online (E.g. iTunes) and purchase it at relatively low costs of US$0.99. This gives consumers more control over the ownership and portability of their own music collection. (NY Daily News, 2013) This has also inadvertently affected the total CD album sales in stores, as it decreased by about 250 million by 2009. (Tyler, 2007) However, despite the ability to now purchase music online, streaming music online would be here to stay, with the rise of companies such as Spotify and Rhapsody that are going strong. According to Billboard, with Spotify, it takes approximately 64 listens to be equivalent to one 99 cents ITunes purchase. (Huffington Post, 2011)  Hence, it is much more worth to access a greater variety of music through streaming channels. Not forgetting, the increasing amounts of illegal downloads consumers have been involved in, through services such as IsoHunt and Torrent, which only serves to compound this impact.

3.3) How music is being distributed today

 As less people are buying physical releases (CDs, vinyl etc.) and purchasing more digital downloads today, it has seen a change in the distribution of music. Conventional music stores such as HMV and independent record stores that once used to be the source of distribution of music are now suffering as more people are now consuming music through social media distribution channels such as iTunes, YouTube, Napster, just to name a few, instead. According to Farnham (2011), music record stores saw a revenue decline of 76% from 2000-2010 and it is estimated that this may drop another 77.4% by 2016.  Many artistes are now also promoting their music through the social media in order to also target a larger group of audience. After the release of the album Clarity Live in 2009, indie artiste Jimmy Eat World was able to get 20% of record sales straight from Twitter just within a month. (Houghton, 2009) Hence, there is a paradigm shift in the way music is being distributed today- from physical to digital platforms.

3.4) Legal Implications of music piracy

 Traditional labels such as Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group are still attempting to extend their control and income by suing music fans for copyright infringement today. In fact, they are creating more difficult contract arrangements between record labels and artistes, which require artistes to give up even more of their copyrights, while providing less value. (Smith, 2012)

Due to the threat of Napster, there have been attempts to combat the proliferation of illegal copying and distribution of music files digitally through litigation efforts in the early 2000s, and it had been successful. As a result, many of the largest and most successful P2P networks that offered permanent download services were shut down. (Tyler, 2013) However, over time, young and aspiring entrepreneurs and software developers recognized the shortcomings of these networks and created new file sharing services that were more problematic for record labels and copyright owners to track, but more streamlined for the users. As such, it became apparent that the outcomes of lawsuits against them would be uncertain and it would be very costly to sue these companies for infringement.


4) Future Implications

4.1) How future technology might affect music

One emerging technology that is being incorporated into artist’s music and performances is the use of hologram. Holography is all about 3D images that have been projected and captured on a 2D surface and is said to tremendously change the music industry. This is seen during The Coachella Festival in 2012 where dead legend rapper, Tupac Shakur, materialized on stage to perform alongside Snoop Dogg which definitely wowed the crowds. (Kaufman, 2012) By exploring holographic technology and incorporating it into the music industry, it provides a whole new way in bringing the performance to a higher and more interactive level.

Such technology may help to proliferate music by helping to transmit the underlying message of music to audiences more effectively. Such technologies like hologram enable music and dead artistes to come to “life” and connect audiences together.

While the bad news is that artistes may now find it hard to promote their songs through the traditional way, the good news for them is that there are much more opportunities for them to promote their songs and get it on the Internet through licensing in future. (Rabhan, 2013) Internet outlets are now creating exclusive contents and authorizing music exclusively for online usage. For example, artistes can now have their songs placed on a Hulu original series and even to a series on Netflix. (Rabhan, 2013) Within the next 5 years, YouTube is going to undergo a huge makeover and only the best quality content will take over. YouTube definitely has huge potential to become the go-to platform for creating business media in the next 5 years, which means new start up artistes need to start developing lists of outlets and shows online and start to get placements on network programmes. (Rabhan, 2013)

Currently, there are many advertising opportunities on YouTube that allow companies or artistes to advertise their brand and product. An example would be TrueView In-Stream, which has become gradually well received over the last 3 years. (Tompros, 2012) In-Stream advertising is a pre-roll video, which is presented to viewers before a video is being watched and focuses on the basis of targeting those who are interested contextual targeting and interest targeting. In Stream ads only costs an average of about $0.04 each and a few hundreds of advertisers are using TrueView In-Stream. (Tompros, 2012) Hence, artistes could perhaps use this platform to advertise and promote their music to ensure the public has access to their music.

4.2) How future technology can affect artistes

The advance in technology will continue to benefit new and upcoming artistes that have been unheard by the public. Given the fact that consumers have more access to music on social media, such as YouTube and Spotify, artistes can make use of this to promote their music and gain new fans. For example, just at the age of 12, Justin Bieber posted homemade videos of himself on YouTube, which got the attention of R&B artist, Usher. Eventually, Justin Bieber was signed to Island Def Jam Recordings and his release of his first single, “One Time” had garnered positive reception all over the world, making him an immediate young pop sensation. (Humphrey, 2009) Today, Bieber’s name is a household name and it is due to YouTube that has played such a huge role in his success toady. Following suit in his footsteps are artistes such as Charice, Conor Maynard and Greyson Chance, all of whom are making it big in the music industry today. As such, it can be seen that social media channels are a huge starting platform for amateur singers to showcase their talent, and eventually win the attention of big music stars to be their mentor and make it very big in the industry.

4.3) New Avenue for talent scouting  

Having achieved positive reception through social media, it has spurred co founder of Def Jam Records, Russell Simmons, to launch a new label, which will be centered on YouTube. It serves to incorporate, find the talent and use YouTube to promote and develop new artistes to their own channels. (BBC Newsbeat, 2013) Hence, it is seen that the social media definitely plays a very crucial role in discovering new talents and artistes in the future and will bring tremendous economic benefit to music companies and artistes in the long run.

4.4) Benefits to consumers

Consumers today have access to a wider variety of music, and are not limited to those in a physical store. Consumers play a very important role in facilitating the type of music that artistes and musicians should produce in the industry as they create the demand for it. This in turn puts pressure on artistes to continually produce songs that are of top quality and high standards. As such, this creates stiff competition amongst individual artistes, filtering out the less popular artistes and promoting the better ones.

 4.5) What it takes to succeed in the music industry in today’s era

 Today, CDs, vinyl and cassettes that once used to be a niche music market, seem to be a thing of the past; and is rapidly being substituted by the Internet and new technologies. It appears that society is only going to see a continuous shift from ownership to increased accessibility. According to Kot from Chicago Tribune, he mentions that the traditional approach can still work for a certain type of artist, but the pool is diminishing. No doubt that streaming is the future. (The De Mello Theory, 2012) Basically, to prosper in the Music 2.0 economy today, artistes would have to rely greatly on the digital medium to discover new and innovative ways to connect and interact closely with their fans. Take for example, Lady Gaga. She has managed to rely on one of the primary obsession of our age-the changing nature of the self in relation to the ever-expanding media platform, and uses this to her ability to always showcase her personality and openly portray what Gaga calls ‘the fame’. (Ann Powers, 2009) Her unique and artistic videos have helped to define her quirky personality, where she is better able to relate to her fans. Moreover, the way she dresses up in unconventional outfits is her way of expressing her various personalities to get the attention of her fans.

Therefore, artistes and label companies could maybe start being creative and work towards earning attention and loyalty of fans rather than their money, since consumers do not purchase music like before After all, it is the artiste who have the power to determine which one of them survives today. Crowd sourcing is now the new artiste and repertoire (A&R) and everybody gets a shot. The only main challenge for artistes is to compose music that brings about personal and meaningful connections that consumers can relate to, which is why performers are starting to put emphasis on the quality of their performances.

4.6) Will music record shops survive in future?

There has been an on-going debate as to whether music record shops such as HMV will be able to survive digital music. Based on statistics, just 567000 (0.3%) of the 189m singles sold last years were physical CDs while digital downloads made up about 97%. (Neate & Thomas, 2013) Despite HMV’s inability to profit from selling physical records, many independent record shops on the other hand are doing financially well and rising in the market due to the high demand and the continual popularity of vinyl. Rough Trade, a chain of three London shops in East London, has reported that business is the “best it has ever been” in the company’s 36-year history. Sales had increased by 8% in the latest quarter and the company is in the process of expanding its outlets. According to Garvan (2013), there is something intrinsically nostalgia about vinyl records now and retro culture is now becoming popular with lots of people.  More independent record stores are beginning to work towards creating a rejuvenated smaller and more sustainable HMV to encourage consumers to shop for physical music. Record stores, such as Record Store Day, has been incredibly important as a catalyst for the resurgence of vinyl records (Garvan, 2013) and are releasing hard-to-find limited edition albums to cater to music fans as well as encourage them to support their stores. This has been a driver of growth for vinyl sales, and though it only makes up a small component of the music market, indie stores are creating new and exciting initiatives which will continue to support and break new talent in the music industry in future.

 4.7) Can record labels and artistes survive the challenges of music piracy?

Currently, the music industry makes up of several key players, mainly, songwriters, artistes, record labels and consumers.

Record labels, Artistes & Songwriters-an introduction:

Record labels play important roles in the music industry, by acting as the intermediate bridge between songwriters and recording artistes. Their operations include music recording, music publishing and marketing. While music recording involves the actual production and recording of music, music publishing on the other hand is the marketing of songs and music catalogs. Songwriters will provide their final songs to music publishers, who in turn get recording artistes to record the song.

However, not all efforts to combat piracy have failed. Recent innovative efforts by successful artistes serve as an example of how embracing new forms of technology and recognizing changing consumer preferences can help to combat the music piracy epidemic. An example would be Radiohead, a band who released their seventh album as an Internet download through the website. The album was offered free of charge but the band invited their fans to pay whatever they felt was desirable for the download. From this, Radiohead not only enjoyed extensive positive publicity of their album, but also garnered an average of about $2.26 per album, more than what Radiohead would have made in a traditional record label. (Tyler, 2013) Hence, it is seen that they are recognising the changing landscape of music and are tapping into new platforms that help distribute their music. In fact, they are capitalising on exclusive opportunities to get in touch with their fans and consumers in ways that promote positive advertising.

Given music piracy is on the rise, it is inevitable that record labels will be most affected by this problem. This is due to the technological advancements that increase accessibility of music online and efficiency of artistes, therefore, making record labels obsolete in today’s context. Instead, more efficient digital platforms are being developed to connect artistes and consumers together. The Internet is now one of the lowest cost mediums where artistes can simply create websites and channels at the touch of a finger and share their music online easily. Through this, we can see that record labels have faced an almost impossible task to combat illegal music downloading as it is becoming cheaper, more convenient, and morally and socially acceptable. As discussed earlier, given that artistes are beginning to understand how the music industry has changed over time, record labels should also follow suit and realise that it is only by embracing new technologies and modifying marketing efforts to support consumer preferences that will lead to higher revenues and greater effectiveness of overcoming the challenge of music piracy.

4.8) Steps record labels can undertake to revitalize industry

Expanding businesses of concerts

 Given that CD sales are on a decline today, record labels can perhaps move towards expanding their business scope to holding concerts. Many people today are attending more live concerts and this is starting to make up the largest percentage of earnings of artistes. According to Edgar Bronfman, CEO of Warner Music Group, the music industry is expanding much more significantly than the record industry. Musicians are now receiving 2/3 of their annual income from concert tours while the remaining 1/3 is earned from record music sales. (Elert, 2011) Given that the demand for concert tickets has been rising over the years, it is no doubt that this is a driving economic force for the music industry. Therefore, it is certainly a valuable asset, which record labels, can work towards by marketing concert tours and expanding their business scope towards this direction. This can be done successfully through the use of social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, to raise awareness of the bands and increase popularity of them.

5) Conclusion

 Technology today will not only continue to create a relentless personalization of music experience but also create new business opportunities. The monopoly that record labels had in process of discovering, developing and promoting music has been disrupted and it is inevitable that the advancement in technology will only continue to dominate the way music is being produced consumed and distributed by individuals in future. Technology has provided a big platform for us to share music and files easily and is the basis for music industry to use as a facilitator to succeed in future. What we artistes and consumers of the Music 2.0 revolution today have to do is do away with the traditional ways of the music industry, rewrite the rules of ownership and start embracing the shift and gain new fans in order to survive and thrive in the music industry.

6) References

Apple. (n.d.). What is Logic Pro X? Retrieved 10 31, 2013, from Apple: http://www.apple.com/logic-pro/what-is/

BBC Newsbeat. (2013, 07 25). Russell Simmons is launching new YouTube based label. Retrieved 11 2, 2013, from BBC Newsbeat: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/23452330

Binelli, M. (2008, 02 07). The Future According to Radiohead. Retrieved 10 06, 2013, from Rolling Stone Music : http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-future-according-to-radiohead-20080207

Elert, A. (2011, 07 05). The Growing Independence of the Music Industry Part II: The Power and Influence of Concerts. Retrieved from Salty Waffle: http://www.saltywaffle.com/the-growing-independence-of-the-music-industry-part-ii-the-power-and-influence-of-concerts/

Farnham, A. (2011, 04 05). 10 Fastest-Dying U.S. Industries. Retrieved 10 06, 2013, fromABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/top-10-dying-industries-us-include-newspapers-telecom/story?id=13292328

Garvan, S. (2013, 10 17). Vinyl sales at highest level for more than a decade. Retrieved 10 21, 2013, from BBC Newsbeat: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/24551472

Houghton, B. (2009, 04 05). Mounting A Band Web Campaign? Topspin Says “Best Practices” Matter. Retrieved 10 06, 2010, from HypeBot: http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2009/05/topspin.html

Huffington Post . (2011, 06 12). Steve Jobs And The Age Of iTunes. Retrieved 10 06, 2013, from Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/06/steve-jobs-itunes_n_999014.html

Humphrey, J. (2009, 06 24). Usher Signs 15-year-old Justin Bieber to Island Def Jam. Retrieved 11 02, 2013, from Prefix: http://www.prefixmag.com/news/usher-signs-15-year-old-justin-bieber-to-islanddef/29976/

Kaufman, G. (2012, 04 16). Exclusive: tupac Coachella Hologram Source Explains How Rapper resurrected. Retrieved 10 06, 2013, from MTV: http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1683173/tupac-hologram-coachella.jhtml

Llyod, T. (2012, 07 11). The Changing face of the music industry. Retrieved 10 06, 2013, from Business Review Europe : http://www.businessrevieweurope.eu/money_matters/the-changing-face-of-the-music-industry

Neate, R., & Thomas, M. (2013, 01 16). HMV’s woes do not signal the end for record shops. Retrieved 10 13, 2013, from The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/jan/16/hmv-woes-record-shops

NY Daily News. (2013, 04 24). iTunes at 10: How Apple’s Music Store as transformed the industry. Retrieved 10 06, 2013, from NY Daily News: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music-arts/itunes-transformed-music-industry-article-1.1326387

Powers, A. (2009, 12 13). Frank Talk with Lady Gaga. Retrieved 10 06, 2013, from Los Angeles Times: http://articles.latimes.com/2009/dec/13/entertainment/la-ca-lady-gaga13-2009dec13

Price, J. (2012, 09 17). The End of the New Music Industry Transformation. Retrieved 10 06, 2013, from HypeBot: http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2012/09/the-end-of-the-new-music-industry-transformation-how-technology-destroyed-the-traditional-music-indu.html

Rabhan, J. (2013, 01 31). Music Industry Predictions: Labels, Concerts, Licensing and More. Retrieved 10 06, 2013, from ReverbNation: http://blog.reverbnation.com/2013/01/31/music-industry-predictions-labels-concerts-licensing-and-more/

Savage, M. (2010, 08 23). How commonplace it auto-tune? Retrieved 10 06, 2013, from BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-11056840

The De Mello Theory. (2012, 11 15). What is the Future of the Music Industry? Retrieved 10 06, 2013, from The De Mello Theory: http://thedemellotheory.com/2012/11/15/what-is-the-future-of-the-music-industry/

The Express Tribune. (2013, 10 1). Technology has made music more accessible: Rahman. Retrieved 10 31, 2013, from The Express Tribune: http://tribune.com.pk/story/611481/technology-has-made-music-more-accessible-rahman/

Tompros, K. (2012, 04 25). YouTube Adveritsing Options for budgets of all Sizes . Retrieved 11 02, 2013, from Search Engine Watch: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2169740/YouTube-Advertising-Options-for-Budgets-of-All-Sizes

Tyler, N. S. (2013). Music Piracy and Diminishing Revenues: How compulsory licensing for interactive webcasters can lead the recording industry back to prominence. University of Pennsylvania Law Review , 161 (7), 2101-2150.

 Vagueware. (2013, 02 27). 10 Free Music Recording Software to record and edit audio files without a cost . Retrieved 10 30, 2013, from Vagueware: http://www.vagueware.com/top-10-free-music-recording-software-to-record-and-edit-audio-files-without-a-cost/

[1] This paper was reviewed by Chua Wen Bin and Chandan Partab Mansukhani

TWC Lesson 11

Today marked the start of our group web presentations, and we had 3 groups presenting this week.
Group 1- Futuristic Buildings
Group 2- Clean Energy
Group 3- Nanotechnology (my group)

Futuristic Buildings:
I felt this was a very interesting topic, as it really explores the concept of homes, an issue that most people would probably face in future due to the scarcity of land, prevalence of natural disasters etc. One of the new technology raised during their presentation was that on bendable concrete, which allows a large degree of bending that the traditional concrete is unable to perform. Another was on transparent solar panels. I thought this group deserved extra credit for creating a model that was rather fascinating. Generally, I felt the presentation was clear and provided an elaborate background for the development of future homes.

Clean Energy:
Generally felt that this group had very poor presentation- mainly focused on content and felt like i was listening to a long dreading research paper..they failed to capture the main points of the topic. However, critics aside, they must be complimented for the amount of time and effort in coming up with all these information. What I learnt from here is that  the demand for energy from emerging countries is expected to rise and the world needs to realise the need to shift towards renewable energy.With global warming on the rise, we are going to see global temperature rise and rising water levels. Hence there is an urgent need for countries to mitigate the risks by shifting to renewable energy.

I would rate this session 8.5/10! Looking forward to several presentations next week!

TWC Lesson 10

This week’s lesson was on Technology Assessment & Forecasting.

The main focus of this week’s lesson was to look and access the future and possibility of new technologies.

Drivers for technology assessment and forecasting:
-Exponential growth in the range of new technologies with potential world changing significance

-The need to gain an understanding of what kinds of changes a new technology innovation might bring- in economic, social, ethical/legal, environmental and other terms

  • new advancements and machinery have taken over the jobs of manual labour in the assembly line today. Is this really beneficial? Will the increase in efficiency actually help to reduce the happiness level of the workforce?

-The need to prioritize in deciding whether and when to invest in research and development of new innovations and technologies

-The need to prioritize, given limited resources, on whether and when to implement and use new innovations and technologies – especially important in developing countries

Commonly used foresight methodologies

  • working back from the future and not forward from the present
  • Brainstorming

Why do we need to bother with foresight?

-It allows us to understand how technology may change future methods. it is to ensure technology reaches its full potential and its used for its best purpose in future.
-Supports policy and strategy development
-Network Building (people with similar interests can come together and study the issue)

This week’s lesson emphasises the need to embrace changes as we progress. When innovating new technologies, we need to think of the future. It is crucial that we look forward instead of harping on the past and continue to stay ahead in the race, otherwise we will definitely lose out. Moreover, as we relook into Yali’s question, developing countries who start to access and forecast new possible technologies in future has the potential to be a key player in the market and it is of paramount importance that these governments focus on both the short and long term goals for the country.


TWC Lesson 9

Claytronics- using micro robots to model structures, such as cars, from scratch

Quote by Albert Einstein that was shared with us today:
“Imagination is more important than knowledge..”
-If you only limit yourself to what you know, you wouldn’t go far. But if you’re open to new ideas and perspectives, you’re more likely to succeed.

Going back to Yali’s question: how do we develop countries with technology?
-We need to understand the inequality in each country and how we can make use of our current resources to solve this problem

Drivers for the development of emerging and future technologies:
-Unmet market opportunity and need (Innovate and come up with a whole new way to develop future technology)
-Market driven R&D (the need to come up with solutions for our problems)
-Growing body of scientific and technological know-how make new technologies that were inconceivable even 10 years ago increasingly possible today- Create new solutions for our unimagined needs
-Supply can create demand- where people don’t realize they need it until they experience it (E.g. Computers, Walkmans, IPhones)
-Mass media and advertising (changing perceptions of our needs)

Confluence of the 4 “Smarts”

  • smart people
  • smart ideas
  • smart money
  • smart alliances and partnerships

Interesting and new emerging technologies:
Robotics-future implication of technological singularity
Surveillance technologies
Biometric technologies
Fuel cells and other new energy technologies
-Artificial intelligence systems
-Grid computing – cloud computing & how everything is shifting online
-Computer-based simulation technologies – electronic games
-Knowledge management technologies- Need to shift to analytics to make sense of the vast amounts of information out there.

Another quote shared with us is that “innovation distinguishes the leader from the follower”

Disruptive change-  completely change what the technology is

The key takeaway lesson from today’s topic is related to one of the quotes by Geroge Bernard Shaw- “You see things; and you say ‘Why?’ But i dream things that never were and I say ‘Why not'”. This was quite an impactful quote because it’s not only very relevant to me in this SMU journey, but also because it relates to the idea of a “falling star” and “rising star”. With regards to “Why not”, only when we open our minds to new possibilities will we then be able to open the doors to success and achieve technological advancements in future.

I would rate today’s lesson 7/10.

TWC Lesson 8

Today’s lesson on Energy and World Change discusses the importance of shifting from our current unsustainable fossil fuel-based energy intensive economy to an environmentally sound and sustainable Clean and Green approach. This is extremely impertinent

Drivers of global energy change:
-Rising energy consumption & economic development
(China currently uses 25% of oil compared to US, but China’s population if 4x that of US. This percentage will definitely increase in future.)

-The need for sustainability (renewable energy sources)

-New technologies and approaches (increasing energy efficiency/pollution prevention) increasingly adapted to minimize impact on environment

-Energy Security: being more energy efficient
-Energy as a source of income for country (E.g. Nigeria, Middle East)
-Energy for the poor: biomass stoves/solar refrigerators (may not be long term solution)
-Global Carbon Market: Dominated by fossil fuel market
-Energy & transportation technology
-Biotechnology and energy

Potential sources of energy:
Above ground

  • sun-huge potential for energy. with photovoltaics that already exists in the industry, it is very efficient to make use of solar energy
  • wind
  • water
  • biomass
  • waves

Below ground

  • coal
  • oil
  • gas
  • geo-thermal-invest in clean energy (China is ahead in market, followed by Brazil)

What i found interesting in the lesson was that photovoltaics is a very viable solution for renewable energy. It generates electricity from solar energy by converting energy from the sun directly to electricity.  Over the years, photovoltaics has evolved and has become more efficient. Then again, this efficiency differs across countries. It really depends on the geographical location of countries and conditions it faces. For example, in Singapore where it is hot throughout, it would be efficient to use photovoltaics. However, for other countries that do not face very hot weather throughout and are unexposed to the sun all year round, it would be rather inefficient for them.  Having said that, photovoltaics is definitely the way to go for future energy. It is extremely clean and does not produce any harmful gases into our atmosphere. Moreover, it is a good replacement to the usual convention of burning fossil fuels, which is going to run out very soon at the rate we are using them.

Key takeaway points would be that good leadership is beneficial for sustainable development. At times, decisions that benefit the community may not be well-received with the public, hence this is when leaders step in and intervene in the situation. Currently, China is investing a lot into new and clean technologies to benefit the country.  Given the quote, “technology is easy, people are hard”, it may be difficult to convince and change people’s mindsets. For these green technologies to exist in the market, governments have to push for for this technology forward with new investments and researches. Initially, people may be reluctant to accept new forms of technologies due to the costs involved or no benefit received, however, if the government can come up with incentives education campaigns or for individuals or subsidies to companies to change to green technology, we could really see green technology going far.

Government intervention is definitely very important if we want to overcome the problem of non-renewable sources(fossil fuels). The government has to ensure there is sustainability in the country by dealing with the problem of our infinite wants and needs and put green technology into place soon to support growth in the industry.

I would rate today’s lesson an 8/10 for the interesting insights!

TWC Lesson 7

Today’s lesson was on BioBusiness Revolution: Agribiology, environmental life sciences and industrial biotechnology

We explored the different colours of biotechnology:
red-biomedical uses
green-plants and animals
blue-marine applications
white-industrial applications
We looked at how urbanization is an increasing trend today, where people are becoming more educated and consumption habits are changing.

Key lessons to note from this lesson

Agri-veterinary & Food Bio  Business
-Agriculture- there are summit opportunities within agriculture today, where people are moving towards consuming organic food, and there is undoubtedly a growing market towards organic food. However, much more education and awareness has to be done to better teach people how to be sustainable.

-Fisheries & aquaculture- fish cultivating

-Animal husbandry

-Forest & Lumber- In America, only 4-5% of forests left. The Amazon forest is heavily being lost.

-Agri biotechnology- GM food. Labeling should be encouraged

-Food processing-preserving food for longer periods

-Food biotechnology- getting into stem cells and production of burgers


Farmer to farmist: Increasingly, specialised knowledge for farming is needed and people are beginning to start taking over farming companies and processes which help increase productivity and efficiency

Shifting towards GM Food?- there has been a debate around countries as to whether it is appropriate to move towards GM food. It is amazing how we see two different countries taking different approaches. While the EU is making it mandatory to label GM products, and is in fact rather hesitant in moving towards it, on the other hand, in the US, the government and companies are encouraging non labelling of GM products and seem to be pushing for GM food in the industry.

Food security: condition where all people, at all times have physical and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Everybody definitely has a right to adequate food and to be free from hunger. The more sustainable our agriculture is, the less damages we will encounter.

This week’s presentation was a continuation from last week’s lesson and it really enlightened me as i initially thought biobusiness was only about healthcare. Presentations wise, it was eye opening to learn about how high protein steak is being made from human waste, yet it is definitely something I would not try even if it its free of charge! I’ll rate today’s lesson a 8/10.


Twc Lesson 6

Today’s discussion was on Biobusiness revolution-Healthcare  & Biomedical Sciences.

Before we started off, Prof recapped with us the definitions of the following:
Technology- which is the application of putting scientific knowledge into practical use
Innovation- Changing the way we do things

Biobuisness refers to commercial activity based on an understanding of life sciences and life science processes. This can be further categorized into:
Biomedical, agri-veterinary, environmental and other areas.

The magnitude of Biobusiness is very large. Bio Business contributes to 25% of the global GDP but employs 40% of the world’s labour force! Agriculture is generally the main contributor to the large GDP in most countries. It serves as a key driver of growth for people living in the rural areas since it requires very little skills and technology. In addition, what I learnt was also that there has been a change in patterns of diseases. It has moved from infectious to chronic diseases and this is all due to technology. The innovation of better healthcare and technology in developed countries has helped to reduce the infectious diseases, but in turn we are encountering the consequences of chronic diseases. However in places such as sub Saharan Africa where sanitation is rather poor and lack basic necessities, many people are dying from diarrhea, the lack of clean air and the rate of death in these areas are increasing rapidly. I feel that more funding should be channelled into these areas for better infrastructure to be built in order to reduce the death rates and increase the life expectancy.

Another takeaway was also the learning about tele-consultations, which in this case, we are able to have doctor consultations via the Internet. Instead of having to make a physical trip down to the doctor’s, we can now save time and increase convenience amongst our hectic fast paced lifestyles. Moreover, with the increasing population size around the world, for example, Singapore, we often encounter long waiting queues just for a short consultation. If tele-consultations are widely implemented, we would definitely reduce a lot of wasted waiting time and satisfy the needs of patients. This would be a huge revolution in the bio business sector.


Key drivers for innovation and change in healthcare and biomedical sciences also include:

-Demographic and epidemiological change: from rural to urban; aging populations; changing patterns of disease
-Translating the findings of R&D into clinical and commercial application
-Advances in information and bioengineering technology
-Changing consumer need, demand and expectations
I felt that the presentations this week were rather interesting and eye-opening. Xindi’s presentations stood out, where he talked about the use of Veti-gel that could help to stop bleeding and impact and the healing process. While veti-gel is definitely not sustainable permanently, it could be used temporary in times of desperation. What makes me wonder is that does this veti-gel pose future consequences in future? Would such substances be carcinogenic and will it be too late when we find out? Hence we should be more cautious and weary when we intend to use such products.
Perhaps an issue that could be further discussed is whether it is fair for some of the rich to be able to live a longer life at the expense of the poor?” After all, we are all human beings and should be treated equally. We should go back to the fundamentals of a basic healthcare- Are we being negligent of the people living in the less developed where they do not have enough access to healthcare and are we doing anything about it then?
Overall, I would rate this lesson a 7/10.