Ancient College Paper Predicts SoundCloud, Spotify

I think it was 1982, I wrote a paper for a course on technology and society. One of my sources was Alvin Toffler’s The Third Wave. The book makes a number of predictions for a post industrial world and was the primary source for my conclusion. (This scan shows a draft printed on continuous feed fan-fold “computer paper” by a line printer capable of only upper case letters! You can even see the holes on the left edge where the printer feed mechanism engaged the paper) Reading this 37 years later, it seems to describe the Internet, Spotify and SoundCloud!

The conclusion of a paper I wrote in 1982 seems to forecast music streaming services and self service audio distribution platforms.

The media will become “de-massified’ according to Alvin Toffler in post industrial society. No longer will single radio stations broadcast to thousands of anonymous listeners hungry for entertainment. Developments like cable communications will personalize listening even more than recordings have. Instead of collecting vinyl disks, listeners will be able to dial up select recordings through their cable system from a central library according to their own tastes. It is even possible that contributions to the central libraries may be made by members of the community.

Daniel Liszewski 1982