Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Rolling Stone editors or publishers.
As technology constantly evolves, so too do the industries on which it has a major impact. This is certainly true of the culture space, where the way customers interact with — and the way businesses sell — food, music, fashion, film and more have changed dramatically over the years as new technologies and needs emerge.
Below, the members of Rolling Stone Culture Council describe some of the ways in which technology has recently impacted their businesses in the culture space and how these changes may alter the way they do business in the future.
Driving Community-Based Market Research
Discord and Reddit have transformed the way we approach market research. We find traditional research panels are dead. Instead, the power of communities is king in pushing forward new ways of research within the music industry. – Robbie Murch, BUMP
Allowing for Higher-Quality Podcasts
The technology to record podcasts in broadcast-quality audio and video is more accessible. Podcasters can now put out higher quality shows, helping the industry grow as a whole. Better-sounding podcasts means more monetization opportunities for podcasters. We expanded services to offer a community, education and a podcast manager certification program to support the sustainability of the ecosystem. – Traci DeForge, Produce Your Podcast
Connecting Data Sets
In the cannabis industry, technology is stitching together seemingly disparate data sets of consumer behavior that provide a deeper understanding of need states. We are making this data actionable across the organization, providing an even more engaging experience for our customers and unlocking new consumer segments of those who are curious about integrating cannabis into their lives. – Michael Klein, Trees Corporation
Technology has taught us that whatever can be improved will be improved. Today, people, businesses and brands can market themselves, by themselves, for little to no money. Using just a smartphone, people can create ads, messages, sales, services, graphics and videos that can be curated, created and shared with the world in the blink of an eye. This has forced me to continually lead and innovate in my field. – David Castain, David Castain & Associates
Evolving Google’s Uses
Search engine optimization (SEO) is by its nature a service that is constantly in flux. Google is becoming more utilitarian for searchers all the time. Innovations like doctor appointment slots, Google Stories and increased emphasis on voice searches mean we, as an SEO agency, must keep learning, experimenting and pushing the envelope of our own capabilities as a fact of business. – Evan Nison, NisonCo
Advancing Product Descriptions
I see more attempts to help consumers answer the question, “Will I like this wine?” with ratings, trait-based algorithms (“bold”) and questionnaires (“black coffee or latte?”). But wine is more than a flavor profile; it is a conduit of culture and history. We use tech to connect to this ethos. No stars or scores—just written reviews and an app that takes the work out of collecting so that wine can simply be enjoyed. – Yule Schmidt, InVintory
Increasing Opportunities for Participation in Film
Film festivals have been dramatically impacted by the rise of the virtual streaming option. This has increased opportunities for participation and networking via festival selection for the creators. Interested distributors, talent scouts, filmmakers and more now have more access to our event than ever before and, as a result, growth opportunities for the festival have increased as it expands our global reach. – Jonathan Martin, FilmQuest