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News, Social Media, Technology

Amazon’s Project Mic: Be a DIY DJ

Kenton Reynolds

Kenton Reynolds, Writer
@uxconnections

Amazon – alongside a whole host of tech giants – are capitalizing on a new form of social media and their Project Mic brings an exciting twist.

Over the last few decades, social media has been one of the most influential inventions humanity has seen. All of a sudden, our world has reached a new level of globalization with our web of communication infinitely more connected and wide spanning. We can, seemingly, reach anyone on the planet through on of a handful of websites – namely Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and a few more. Whilst our lives and societies have become so interleaved and intertwined, many actually feel more alone than before. The ability to socialize through an entirely text-based interface on a screen is so easy and effortless that we can often choose this over real-life socializing.

After all, this method of text-only communication prevents one of the most important aspects of a conversation; speaking. So many sentences and points become harder to convey through text whilst being easier when put into words. Furthermore, the lack of a voice creates a sense of inhumanity that is simply disliked by almost everyone.

There is a new trend of social media platforms aiming to overcome this problem by revolving around real-time voice conversations which is the trend that Amazon’s Project Mic will make the most of. However, it would be unfair to talk about Project Mic without mentioning the pioneer of the market, Clubhouse. 

Clubhouse took the classic idea of chat rooms and applied some pretty major renovations by allowing for an actual spoken conversation. This creates an even-more-social media, where the millions of connections feel more real and personal than on any other platform. Clubhouse truly creates the experience of meeting people from all around the world to converse and share ideas. Simultaneously, the app – which is available on IOS and android – does not need you to be always in conversation as users can listen in on the conversations and have a less formal version of talk-radio streaming through their device.

This is the main aspect that Amazon’s Project Mic – which has been described as a ‘Clubhouse Clone’ – will be built around. Amazon intends to place the user in the driving seat in creating their own radio show with a platform which is expected to allow conversations between users to be broadcast – much like with Clubhouse – but with the impressive and vital addition of music. Project Mic will be paired with Amazon Music so that DIY DJs will have the ability to mix in tracks of their choice from the streaming services near-limitless collection between conversations. This is one of the essential ingredients of a classic radio station for the majority of easy listeners. Stations that draw in big crowds usually revolve around light entertainment mixed in with big hits so that listeners can sing along from home or the car. Clubhouse sadly missed the mark on this point and could see Project Mic gain the upper hand for the purpose of a radio alternative whilst Clubhouse will remain the more social of the platforms.

Amazon will not be the only tech giant jumping onto the success of Clubhouse. Twitter, Spotify, Facebook and Reddit are all joining in and attempting to build their own live audio experience for users to create for one another. The new concept’s success comes in the wake of social media’s maturity – as it reaches the height of its popularity, value must be added to continue gaining users – alongside the newfound popularity of audiobooks and podcasts as an alternative to streamed music. The live audio experience presents a combination of the two in an exciting and accessible format.

Project Mic is still in the development phase, and we expect a US only release first however Amazon usually tags global release in the following months. Users will be able to access the software via IOS or Android app as well as through Alexa – by voice searching for the show’s name. Audible, Twitch and Amazon Music are all also expected to broadcast Project Mic shows too. Streaming music has overtaken older methods like CDs and cassettes for mobile use; this could be the beginning of the switch away from radio towards a more technological service.

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