As time goes on, industries evolve. Centuries back, before the printing press, you would need a scribe to write anything down. But after the press was invented, newspapers became a possibility. Skipping forward to modern days, print media is now becoming obsolete. Twenty years ago, most people would start their day by reading the paper, then it became the norm to consume the news online on your PC. Now, as we reach 2020, browsers are being phased out and apps are the best way to find out what’s going on.
But while the march of time spells doom for some jobs, it allows others to flourish. Whole new industries spring up, allowing innovative people to take advantage and forge careers that would not have been possible even five years ago.
This is happening across the board, with new technology created everywhere, but the most common cause is the internet. The web has allowed the world to connect in ways that were never possible before. It lets people enter industries and take creative jobs that were once solely operated by people who had the financial backing to enter them.
Social Media Manager
It seems incredible, but Facebook only celebrated its fifteenth birthday this year, and Twitter its thirteenth. While other forms of social media, like Bebo and MySpace, were also founded around the same time, these two giants have managed to stand the test of time.
Since then other giants, like Snapchat and Instagram, have entered the game, and all of them have a massive influence on our lives. The average person spends almost two and a half hours a day browsing through timelines and feeds, and it’s estimated that over $30 billion will be made through social media in 2019.
But none of this happens by accident. It’s important for labels and artists to have active accounts, fans like to feel like they’re able to contact the brands they subscribe to, but it’s time consuming. Beyond that, developing a successful online presence takes a lot of effort that many people simply don’t have, and so Social Media Managers have risen to take over.
Taking their encyclopedic knowledge of how the online sphere works, Social Media Managers put it to work for other people. Each kind of Social Media operates differently, Facebook is more suited for long posts, while Twitter is a microblogging site with each post limited to 240 characters. They’re also used by different demographics, so the content of each post needs to be tailored accordingly.
By employing either a specialist, or a team of specialists, working in one direction, account owners can boost revenue and awareness to reach people around the globe in ways that not too long ago would have been unimaginable.
One of the main casualties of the new millennium has been the recording industry. While it has begun to pick up again in recent years, sales are nowhere near its peak of over $20 billion in the mid 1990s.
The problem has been the internet. Before file sharing became possible, there were always bootleggers. Copying from tape to tape or burning a CD was always illegal, but music piracy flourished with the advent of peer-to-peer services like Limewire and BitTorrent, hitting the music industry in a big way.
Eventually iTunes emerged and Apple managed to group the major labels together to agree to allow them to sell their music online. But this was pricey, an individual track would cost 99p. So while it helped to stem the tide of people resorting to illegal downloading, it was never going to last, there needed to be an alternative.
And so, streaming sites like Spotify and Tidal emerged to take over. The public can now pay a monthly fee and consume all the music they want through an industry that is worth $4.3 billion a year in the US, or 80% of its recorded music revenue. This also means that an incredible amount of music jobs have been created. In the UK alone, over 145,000 music industry jobs are supported by the streaming industry.
So while the streaming industry may have its downsides, many artists aren’t properly remunerated for their music, it’s managing to at least somewhat hold back the complete destruction of recorded music.
While sites like Spotify generally focus on music, they also host Podcasts. Cheap to make and free to put online, the Podcast industry has grown significantly in the last decade, and by 2023 it is predicted that there will be 1.85 billion listeners worldwide.
They offer an alternative to radio, with infinite options of what they could be about. But the best thing is that anyone can make them. If you take an interest in a certain genre or a part of an industry, all you need is a mic, some editing software and access to the internet.
It’s estimated that over 2.5 billion people globally own a smartphone. So regardless of if you lean towards Apple, Android or even Windows, there’s a good chance you use apps, as a result, the lucrative industry of app development has developed alongside smartphones. The various revenue streams, including advertising, in-app purchases and freemium models have grown app revenue to over $365 billion in 2018 alone.
It’s even arguable that app creation is the most crucial of all the new jobs mentioned above. Social media, podcasts and streaming have all benefited from their use of apps, due to the ease with which they allow users to access their content. And, unlike other jobs that have been recently created, many schools are already actively training students to enter the app industry, with students as young as five taught coding as part of the standard curriculum.
Technology’s progression has always been met with an ounce of fear, automation taking over jobs that would otherwise be held by people. But while there will always be jobs that fall by the wayside, others will be created. If you have an idea, and the drive to make it happen, the new career opportunities opening up are endless.