Posted In:Digital Downloads Archives - Pligg
The U.S. music industry was said to be worth $15.5 billion in 2016. But given that we’re living in a technological world where geography plays a smaller part, globally, it’s closer to $43 billion.
The music industry was caught napping a few years back; music streaming was beginning to take-off, but the industry’s big hitters ignored it.
Right up until it affected their sales numbers.
It’s doubtful they’ll be as complacent with the next big music trends; check out ten of them here.
1) Music Streaming
In 2016, music streaming became the industry’s biggest source of income; revenue from streaming grew by 57% in the first half of the year.
We’ve all heard of the likes of Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music and Google Play Music, but when the likes of Amazon join in, you know that the music industry must be sitting up and taking notes.
Even iTunes (that has a 64% share of the U.S. digital music market) must be re-evaluating their business plan.
2) Virtual Reality
A bit more of slow-burner, Virtual Reality won’t be the biggest of the music trends this year, but it’s certainly on the way up.
Market experts say that the VR music market could be worth as much as $30 billion by the year 2020, but that encompasses more than just music (think merchandising and the like).
Artists such as Bjork, Paul McCartney, U2, Coldplay, and Deadmau5 have already experimented with Virtual Reality systems with great results; whether that’s with an immersive video or at a live concert.
3) Artistic Holograms
Sadly, 2016 was a bad year for the music industry, we lost such greats as David Bowie, George Michael, Leonard Cohen and Prince (among much more).
But technology could mean that we see them making one-off appearances at special gigs in the form of a hologram.
4) Social Media
Social media is taking over the planet right now.
Along with the big guns, it seems that not a day goes by without another startup claiming to be the next Facebook (and hoping to emulate their success).
But with instant gratification in the form of likes, comments, and shares, it’s no wonder that b(r)ands are using social media as a way of communicating directly with their fans.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re in Massachusetts or Mumbai, you can keep up to date with all things relating to Taylor Swift or Metallica.
5) Different Release
Has downloading or streaming had its day?
Not quite (see point 1), but the way that artists are releasing new music is changing; the ‘unexpected album drop’ is here.
We’ve seen bands like U2 release direct to fans, but as with any business, finding a new way of doing something to add that all-important USP is crucial to success.
Take Beatie Wolfe for instance; the London, UK, based artist recently released a musical jacket as a way of getting her music out there.
She’s also done a full album on a series of digital interactive cards.
6) Artificial Intelligence
Heading into a music studio and ‘cutting’ a record is so old hat.
Why not just tell your computer the type of tune and how you’re feeling and let it do the work?
While still in the early stages, there is no doubt that AI will find its place within the music trends for this coming year.
OK, it may not be able to write a classic (excuse me Mr. Lennon – I am the Walrus?), but the type of music will definitely have its place – think of royalty free music.
Let’s just get it out there … we have no political leanings whatsoever, this is merely a comment on trends in the music industry.
2017 has seen a rise in political songwriting; people wanting to comment on today’s society, the political landscape and whoever may be in power.
Truthfully, we don’t think it matters who is in the hot seat, but we’re heading back to an era of musicians using their following to deliver a message.
Vinyl sales are booming; 2015 saw the highest record of vinyl sold since 1988, while CD sales were down 17%.
That growth is happening year on year, as hipsters are trying new ways of out-cooling the cool people.
It’s no longer about clean, crisp sound, people actually want the hiss, scratch, and warmth of vinyl.
Having said that, we’re still waiting for traditional record players to make a resurgence.
Nearly every piece of tech is driven by algorithms, why should the music business be any different?
Not to be confused with Artificial Intelligence, an algorithm can be used to actually make music along with recognizing the types of music you want and recognizing you.
As the Internet of Things becomes more prevalent, algorithms will be used to recognize you as you approach billboards, advertising hoardings or even your favorite store.
It will play you music based on your mood or even body language; it will quite literally be tailored for you.
10) Live Music
We love technology, it enables you to be reading this right now, or to carry around thousands of tracks in our pocket, either on our cell or MP3 / 4 players.
But is there really anything that will replace live music, now or in future?
Sure, being able to choose your music depending on mood or taste for the day is great, but no matter how good technology gets, it will never be able to recreate the atmosphere of a gig.
It won’t get you drunk, shove you in the mosh pit or leave you with the ‘super fan’ that you bumped into while in the line waiting for the restroom.
Live music is here to stay, it’s more than a trend, it’s a movement.
Be sure to check back regularly for updated content.
What do CDs, DVDs, and software disks have in common?
They’re currently being crushed by digital downloads, but they’re not the only types of physical media feeling the heat from the digital media takeover.
E-books are back on the rise and are expected to represent 25% of the global book market by 2018, and educational textbook giant, McGraw-Hill, recently noted a major spike in sales and customer satisfaction for their digital products.
The video game industry is also feeling the impact, as physical sales dropped by 45% and digital sales skyrocketed by 180% in just seven years.
So what does the future hold for digital and physical media?
Keep reading as we explore the latest studies, stats, and forecasts to learn more about the rise of digital downloads.
Reports: Film & TV Digital Downloads Surpass DVD Sales
It finally happened.
At the start of 2017, major media outlets in the UK reported that film and TV digital downloads sales finally beat physical DVDs.
Digital movie downloads have been on the rise since 2009, but they finally surpassed their predecessors in 2015.
This UK trend is in keeping with digital movie sales trends seen in the USA. Reports show that film and TV rentals dropped by 18% and physical sales decreased by 10% from the previous year. Meanwhile, sales for digital downloads skyrocketed by 23% and are showing no signs of slowing down.
The digital download phenomenon is hitting Hollywood so hard, according to the L.A. times, that Warner Bros. studio execs are even considering upping the digital download release dates for feature films.
Consumers are sending a clear message, so let’s unravel why people are so quick to embrace digital.
Survey Says: Why People Prefer Digital Media over Physical Media
As if sales alone weren’t proof enough of consumers’ preference for digital downloads, take a look at this U.S. consumer survey reported by Variety Magazine.
At the time of the survey, consumers reported the following viewing habits:
- Video streaming activity officially surpassed live TV viewing by 2015.
- More than 55% of consumers reported streaming movies every month.
- 53% reported streaming TV shows on a monthly basis.
- Compare these percentages with the 43% who still prefer watching live TV programming.
- 14-25-year-olds prefer internet video services by 72% percent as opposed to the 58% who pay for cable TV.
- In fact, 25% of millennials canceled their cable TV service in favor of a digital downloads service.
It’s undeniable that consumers’ film and TV viewing habits show a preference for digital over traditional media, but why?
It is just the convenience of enjoying content at the click of a button or is it something more?
We set out to find out why.
Survey: U.S. Adults Ditch Movie Theatres For The Living Room
Maybe there is something more to digital downloads than just avoiding a trip to the video store.
According to a 2014 Harris Poll, two-thirds of U.S. adults said their movie theater attendance has significantly declined over the past few years, and 68% of adults only go to the movies once a year at best.
These additional survey insights also shed light on why consumers may prefer an at-home movie experience:
- 57% of participants polled said they prefer watching movies at home as opposed to going to a movie theater.
- Only 21% of adults prefer seeing feature films at a movie theater.
- 58% reported that the sound and quality of a particular film was their reasoning for choosing a movie theater over an at-home experience.
- 62% surveyed said that high prices for concessions are the worst part about going to the movies.
- 56% reported that rude or loud moviegoers also ruin their experience at movie theaters.
With the high costs of movie tickets, food, and disruptive moviegoers, it’s no surprise people are opting to stay on the couch.
How Digital Downloads Impact Music Consumption
Nothing proves the power of digital downloads more than its impact on the music industry, and we have the stats to prove it.
An annual Music Consumer Insights Report show the following results:
- 71% of all internet users between the ages of 16 and 64 access licensed music online.
- At least 1/3 of all consumers between the ages of 16-24 currently pay for a digital music service.
- 82% of younger consumers between the ages of 13 and 15 regularly listen to and pay for audio digital downloads.
- Almost half of all internet users pay for digital music, regardless of the format.
What’s even more clear is the overwhelming impact of smartphones on the digital music industry, as you can see direct correlations between increasing mobile device use and the shift toward digital music consumption.
How Mobile Changed Everything
Smartphones are quickly surpassing desktop computers and laptops as consumers’ primary source for digital music consumption.
In their report, the IFPI found that 55% of all active internet users use their smartphones to listen to digital music. You will also find a 40% to 52% disparity between consumers who use their computers to listen to paid music services as opposed to smartphones.
As smartphones continue their upward climb in the market, expect these digital music consumption stats to follow suit.
So where do digital downloads go from here?
According to TechCrunch, look out for the following trends in digital media:
- Advancement in live video media
- Innovations in Virtual Reality (VR)
- Increasing popularity in digital “eSports” and “eAthletes”
- Continued dominance of video game downloads
- More innovation in digital wearables
The future is digital and it’s only going to get better.
Soon your DVDs and Blu-Ray disks will join the nostalgic ranks of cassette tapes, VHS, and vinyl records, but the possibilities are endless with digital media.
Take this opportunity to start building your digital downloads library so you can start carrying your favorite music, movies, and publications wherever you go.
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