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Technology has forced countless industries to adapt and change in recent years – and the music business is no exception. 

As new methods of music delivery are formed and artists gain more and more direct access to their fans through social media, the industry as a whole is having to evolve.

Arguably the biggest change to the industry comes from the rise of streaming music services, which not only change the way we listen to and purchase music – but change the way in which musicians are compensated for their work. 

Artists like Taylor Swift have spoken out publicly about musician compensation in recent years, pointing a finger at some of the largest streaming platforms for unjust payment policies.

In addition to the impact on music delivery methods, technology is responsible for providing musicians with much more direct access to their fans through social media and other mobile platforms. 

Using these technologies, artists can receive valuable information about and from their fans, with the click of a button – and fans can form a deeper connection or devotion to a particular artist or artists.

The music industry will continue to evolve to keep up with these – and other – tech-driven changes and as it does, the app marketplace will continue to capitalize on the industry’s shift. 

Today, there are already tons of apps available to both iPhone and Android users that focus solely on music – whether music delivery, music business, or fan-to-musician connection. And it’s with this in mind that seven of the top apps that are reshaping the music industry today are listed below.

1. GigFunder

For independent and new artists, the costs associated with touring can be prohibitive. 

But GigFunder, which bills itself as the world’s first crowdfunded tour site, lets musicians raise the funds needed to take their show on the road, by tapping into their existing fan base. 

GigFunder campaigns are initiated by a fan request for a band or musician to perform in a given area, offering fans more of a say over which acts visit them and providing artists with useful insights into where their most dedicated fans are located.

2. SoundCloud

SoundCloud falls into the music streaming category – which has already made quite a mark on the industry – but this app offers some unique features that others in its space don’t. 

Musicians can upload their own, original songs to the platform, for example, and can track how their uploads are performing through stats provided by SoundCloud.

3. Artist Union

Artist Union is one of those concepts that every musician dreams about. Remember how Usher discovered Justin Bieber on YouTube? In that same way, Artist Union is democratizing how artists get discovered. 

Even if you are an avid listener of music, you will love how Artist Union has some of the upcoming musicians and a variety of genres with over 800,000 people using the site to find new music. 

4. WR1 

Not only does this recently-launched app (pronounced “We Are One”) let artists communicate directly with their fans through features like one-to-one video chat and direct messaging – but it’s committed to compensating artists fairly for their work, reverting up to 95% of earnings to the musicians using the platform. 

In fact, an artist with 5,000 fans on WR1 would generate an estimated payout of $100,000 – or as much as that same artist could generate on YouTube if he or she had 1 billion views.

5. Artist Growth 

Managing the business side of a music career is a significant challenge for many artists. Upon realizing this himself, the singer-songwriter founder of Artist Growth created the app to help musicians effectively manage the business of their music. 

Artist Growth users can track finances, store contracts and other important files, create set lists, manage merchandise, coordinate schedules and more. Additionally, opting into the platform’s ‘Accel’ feature connects musicians with Artist Growth’s curated network of labels, management companies, brands, agents, and others in the industry interested in new talent.

6.  ReverbNation

ReverbNation gives musicians access to extensive suite of tools needed to create, market, and grow their own music business. 

Users can create an artist profile – through which they can share songs, videos, and photos and synch with social media – as well as professional electronic press kits and custom websites, and can enjoy other features like digital music distribution, direct-to-fan selling, online submissions to national and regional opportunities, and can use the app’s gig finder feature to locate thousands of venues for shows.

7. Tidal

Tidal is another subscription-based music streaming service but, like SoundCloud, there are several things about Tidal that make it stand out from the competition. 

This Jay Z-owned app has built a reputation for sharing new music exclusively, from top tier artists (and Jay Z friends) like Rihanna, Kanye West, and Jack White. The app also credits itself as being the first streaming music service to offer High Fidelity sound quality and High Definition music videos, and users can enjoy curated playlists compiled by their favorite artists (including Jay Z and Beyonce). 

And in addition to these user-focused benefits, Tidal claims to pay much higher royalties to its musicians than any of its competitors in the streaming space do.

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