The Top 10 Music Trends Changing The Industry This Year
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.
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