Music Business

Tech Terms That Should Be Banned In 2021

For those who have been operating in the music/tech sphere for the past year or so, there are few words and phrases that have hit a saturation point, and everyone is sick of hearing. Here, we look at a list terms that need a little time off from the lexicon.

Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0

We’ve heard some of these tech words and phrases so much that they now hold no meaning, so it’s time to stop using them. Yep, tech words, phrases, and jargon have now seeped in the music business (especially music tech), but we can save ourselves in the new year with a little awareness. Below is a non-comprehensive list inspired by Shelly Palmer.

We hacked it – If you mean you “figured it out,” then just say that in plain English.

Paradigm shift – Once again the plain “something new” will suffice, unless you’re talking about something so momentous that it has never been thought of before.

Game changer – Most of the time you mean “interesting,” “meaningful,” “significant,” “impactful.” That’s good enough.

Disrupt the industry – That’s a pretty dramatic way of just saying “change.”

Monetize – I know, I use this one myself. A simpler way is to just say, “how we make money.”

Blockchain – Most people who throw this word around don’t even know what it means. If I hear how “Blockchain is going to change the music industry forever,” or “It will let you charge whatever you want for your music,” I think I’ll scream. It’s just a clever database technology. It’s ability to change the music business has been overrated.

AI (artificial intelligence) – Again, I’m as guilty as anyone for using this. Most of the time this is referring to machine learning, which is a subset of AI. Better to use “this will automatically happen” instead of inferring magic powers on the process.

The above tech words and phrases can be useful, but just like superstar artists, only 1% of the time. Shelly mentioned a few more, like “5G,” “hockey stick,” and “ideate” that thankfully haven’t made it into every day music tech yet. Let’s hope that 2021 brings us clearer language with fewer buzzwords (Yes, I intend to practice what I preach).

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  2. While I don’t completely disagree with the goal of this list, some of the terms are still valid. For example, “Monetize” isn’t just a “tech word” and it is very relevant in the music industry.
    I also suggest learning what “AI” actually encompasses. This is a great guide that will help:
    Lastly – totally agree with your sentiment on the (over)use of “blockchain”. 🙂

  3. Anyone who thinks that a Blockchain is “just a clever database technology” should definitely not use the term. How do you feel about the phrase “speaking from ignorance”. Your that guy I remember from 1996 who scoffed at the idea that the internet would cause a paradigm shift and be the kind of game changer to disrupt the industry.

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