Music discovery has long since been a hot topic in the music business. Next to music monetization it is probably the most important debate in the industry - how do we get more people to find and listen to our music?
Today, with the rise of the Internet and digital music services, there is more consumer choice than ever before. But with that comes more noise and clutter than most consumers are willing to deal with. Michael Papish from Rovi suggested we've been approaching the problem the wrong way. He believes it isn't about the technology, but about people.
Papish suggests we are entering a new phase in the digital age. Digital services like Pandora, Spotify, Rhapsody and others paved the way for consumer choice, sharing, likeminded community development and live interactivity. But he also argues that no music recommendation service on the market today truly solves the problem of music discovery. He believes it is less about developing the right algorithm as much as it is about studying the human psychology of music.
"The future of music discovery is more about the art than the science", he stated. Today technology services look to understand music listener preferences and build sophisticated algorithms to address what it believes to be true through ratings, a users usage history, etc. But Papish argues that while we can measure if we have done something wrong, we cannot truly measure if we have done something right. Looking forward it is not about building technologies that enable music recommendations at scale, but building solutions that listen to what people want, when they want it, and how they want it. At the heart of his argument, Papish believes the future of digital music discovery will be human music curation that is supported by technology not created by it.