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The Future of the Music Industry

With new technologies and an evolving digital landscape, how has the music industry adapted and innovated to utilize these new tools?

9Oct

As we delve into the music industry we will take a look at how evident changes have been occurring throughout the music industry and how something quite new and special is being born.

So where do we begin? The music industry has been failing, succeeding, ending and even revolutionising for some time now. We are in, what seems to be, a constant state of flux regarding how this industry is shaping up. There are start-ups, innovative technologies, new platforms and plenty of young entrepreneurial artists who are looking to take some power back. So what has this created?

Live music, the reason why most become musicians, has always been around and will continue to be so. There are multiple platforms now available to musicians to perform and share live music. Some have made it through using Youtube or Vevo where as some are now utilizing such platforms to engage with fans more and add value to their audiences. With live streaming technologies coming to the fore and the amount of festivals worldwide expanding year on year, there is now more financial value in artists performing, than selling their music through traditional channels.

The Growth of Streaming; Streaming is still an iffy spot in the music industry. Artists believe that the royalty structure in place is unfair and devalues them as music professionals. This is a continuation of the old argument of when artists feel like they are being taken advantage of by labels and management who take a higher percentage of their product. We live in a growing world of shared services and one of the beauties of this is the invention of programs like Spotify. One of Spotify's biggest advantages is that if you and all your friends are members, you can discover and share more music through 1 platform. I see this as a benefit for the artists as they can now reach a wider audience and be discovered more simply. This may not reflect in direct revenue, but to be on more people's radar can only be supportive, especially when planning that next world tour. Streaming companies are growing 2-fold and with more options available to consumers than ever before, the competitiveness of the market has allowed for better innovations and a more diverse spread of new platforms becoming available.

Smart phones and tablets will be key to success within the music industry. We are at a time now where media consumption on the move is commonplace for most consumers. In America around 90% of the population own some form of device and with further advances within internet coverage happening all the time, we increasingly consume and search for new music on these platforms. Devices allow for people to completely sync their entire web world together. Social media has been ingrained into most streaming and internet radio platforms to allow for instant sharing between friends. This is also being seen with blogs and publications who are incorporating mobile into their publishing strategy to best engage with audiences throughout the industry.

The use of data and analytics within the industry will continue to have a massive impact on the way artists and labels act throughout the industry. It has become a huge part of their marketing and promotional efforts but also where music has become a digital enterprise, a vast amount of data has been collected which can be used in leveraging tour plans, release dates, social demographics and more. Using data through Youtube, Spotify and other sources can show an artist where they should invest more time into touring due to the span of the audience. With generating revenue a struggle for smaller acts, these tools can allow allow them to play to sell out crowds and maximize the ROI on touring. Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have allowed artists to gather more data allowing them to best understand their audiences so that they can engage with them on a personal level.

The industry has turned into one the most exciting around due to its natural desire for creativity, entrepreneurial aspects and desire to succeed. Due to the growth within new platforms, services and start-ups there has been a surge of opportunity given back to the artists as well as all participants throughout the industry. With the streaming debate continuing to occur there will come a point where artists will learn to leverage these services and open strong revenue opportunities. Over the next 10 years we will see a continuation of growth within utilising data, streaming services and new product development. Labels and the touring landscape are continuing to change and as the industry continues to adapt to new technology and endorse entrepreneurism, the music industry stands to become an innovative prospect for the future.

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