The University of Technology Sydney campus served as a seat of learning for Australia’s music industry on Thursday as the inaugural FastForward conference kicked off.
Chris Carey, the British-born entrepreneur, thinker and founder of FastForward, turned on a fire hose of information with a solo-act which drilled down into data, algorithms and shifting formats, and how, through a combination of those factors, albums aren’t getting as much love as they should.
Change is good, and the way we need to listen to music needs to change, delegates heard.
“I would love to see music come back as an activity, rather than just a top -up. So that it stops being incidental. There’s opportunity for it, if you consider how much time we stare at screens, there’s time to not stare at screens. We’re nudging toward deeper engagement and we can do a job in helping deeper engagement, and going deeper into albums rather than just a sugar hit.”
And on that track, Carey posited whether music creators were killing the art to game the streaming platforms. “Are we now making songs catchier in the first 30 seconds so it isn’t skipped? There’s an extent where… algorithms are there to be gamed. There’s a risk that music is served for a medium rather than art itself, there’s a problem we dilute it.”