How Online Gaming Technology Has Impacted The Music Industry

The whirring of slot machines and the melodic chimes of a winning jackpot may seem like things that are a complete world away from the music industry and creating a hit single – but don’t be fooled! Digital gambling and today’s music scene come from similar roots: algorithmic digital tools that power elaborate gameplay and sophisticated production techniques.

Today, algorithms affect the way casinos create games and the way music listeners consume the latest hits from their favorite artists. Algorithms guide content to users, match them with musicians, suggest new experiences, and may also forge entire communities around artists. Technology is the place to look for big ideas about the present-day music world – and the online casino industry has become the perfect case study to look toward.

From Random Number Generators to Algorithmic Inspiration

At the core of any gaming engine is the so-called random number generator (RNG). This is a difficult-to-predict but even-handed algorithm that produces the simulated plays, deals and spins on which the house depends for both revenue and player engagement. These RNGs are part of what can turn a new developer into the best casino online as they prove to players that the games are random and fair – a very important thing when people are putting their own money on the line. In a game of slots, these RNGs can be used to set how often a jackpot will happen, and in a game of poker, they can also be used to make sure that all the players are being dealt a fair hand.

RNGs might be considered the basic building blocks of most game engines, but their reach extends far beyond the gambling world. In music-making, some artists are using RNG algorithms to produce the same sort of unpredictability with melodies – a technique sometimes referred to as ‘algorithmic composition’.

Songs and melodies are produced by feeding a programme with a musical sample or set of parameters and allowing the RNG to create random variations or combinations. Sometimes, as in pop music, these outcomes can be a little surprising as the producer will usually feed in a large variety of music into the algorithm until he or she finds an unusual, intriguing outcome. In practice, this type of algorithmic composition is still very experimental, but we’re starting to see it hit the mainstream.

Data-Driven Decisions: A Symphony of User Insights

However, there is more to the impact of online casinos than playing with algorithms – the online casinos themselves mine enormous quantities of data in a pretty impressive attempt to shape the games to keep players hooked.

In the music industry, streaming platforms take a similar approach. They have an incredible amount of data about you, about what kind of music you are into, at what times you normally listen to certain artists, and how you tune in.

As with online casinos, music streaming companies such as Spotify and Apple Music play with algorithms that learn about you using your activity (such as skipping or listening to an entire album) to improve their suggestions – hence those personally designed playlists and artists that are suggested to you after listening to some of their songs.

That kind of personalisation should make for a greater degree of engagement, especially for listeners who have a big appetite for new music to discover. Beyond learning the age, gender and location of the audience for their music, artists can benefit from the data generated by listeners on streaming platforms – for instance, to pinpoint what kind of person they are, what kind of music they are into and what exactly they like about the song they are listening to. This can help them tailor their music and campaigns to better reach them.

Building the Perfect Stage: User Experience Design in Music

In the online casino, the experience is always about the user, and the interface is optimized accordingly. The sense of comfort is meant to be absolute and developers take care to provide a user experience (UX) that is visually pleasing, intuitive and always exciting.

As a consequence, similar thinking has been applied to music streaming. Interfaces are constantly evolving to help users sift through increasingly expansive music libraries, find new artists and compose their playlists.

Music videos are also becoming more and more interactive, untethered from the screens hosting them, making use of augmented reality filters, for example. The line between ‘consumption’ and ‘creation’ seems to be dissolving. The products of so-called passive music culture are ‘happening’ on the user’s terms, not those of the artists.

Who doesn’t like a good user experience? Not only does it help forge a deeper bond between the artist and the audience (perhaps because the audience is exerting a degree of control over what it consumes), but it’s also a safe bet that such innovations improve users’ experiences with recorded music.

Looking Ahead

Before this, you may have never seen a link between online gaming and the music industry, but there are a lot more similarities than people think.

Technology is constantly blurring the lines between different industries, and this is an obvious example. We’re excited to see how the two industries continue to evolve and interact over the next few years.

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