Quick Hits: The 2016 crystal ball edition

Before quaffing the champagne tonight, we’ve got a slightly different take on the usual Quick Hits. Today, we have a roundup of online publications and writers’ predictions and premonitions about what the streaming and digital audio world has to look forward to in 2016.

Extrapolating from some of this year’s big legal and regulatory stories, Fast Company pulled together some predictions centered on big industry transitions and general shifts in consumption. Ditto for Forbes’ music contributor Bobby Owsinski, who offered some more specific ideas for what the major (or soon-to-be-major, in his view) companies in the field might do next. Rolling Stone also made some predictions that went beyond streaming and into live shows and broader cultural impacts.

Writing at Inverse, Winston Cook-Wilson examined how music companies, particularly Tidal, might be able to make a shift from purely streaming into more label-like activities. A guest post in Hypebot by Matt Voyno also focused on Tidal, noting some potential steps it could take to reverse its apparent downward slide. For all the bad buzz Tidal received this year, could it mount a comeback?

Lastly, some thoughts from the technical side. If you’re in the market for a new home WiFi music system, CNET has rounded up the best choices going into next year. We’re also hearing rumors that Apple may be gearing up for a big move into improving audio quality, which, if things pan out, could mean that the 3.5 headphone jacks we’re all so familiar with could go the way of the dodo.

Anna Washenko