As we enter a new year we’re likely to see shifts in the music industry, both subtle and radical. Here are some trends that will possibly affect music consumption, distribution and monetisation.
The Resurgence of Physical Sales
The continued revival of vinyl offers an avenue for artists to diversify their streams of income. Alongside outselling CDs for the first time in 3 decades, vinyl was responsible for 38.3% of all album sales in the United States according to MRC Data’s 2021 Year End Report. While established acts like Taylor Swift and Adele have embraced this medium; its resurgence is largely attributable to independent musicians. Another exciting aspect of this trend is younger generations gravitating towards vinyl. We’ll definitely be on the lookout for how artists supplement their earnings from streaming through physical means this year.
The Short Form Battle
As TikTok continues to create viral hits overnight through its dance challenges, other platforms have worked on strengthening the appeal of their own short-form offerings. With YouTube announcing the monetisation of Youtube Shorts from February 1st, we’re likely to see both musicians and influencers drawn to the site with the added sweetener of creator’s being allocated a 45% share of ad-revenue. This battle of ‘short’ platforms is poised to have an impact on audience fragmentation, promo strategies and - perhaps - song structure.
The angling towards, but seemingly delayed entry into the metaverse will continue to inform our embrace of immersion. The deployment of cutting edge tech will meet us wherever we are - at work, home or in transit. Enter Amazon Music and Fraunhofer’s ongoing partnership to create an immersive automotive experience. The pair demo’d their 360 Reality Audio in an Audi e-tron, a format that brings spatial sound to vehicles. This represents what may be the next frontier of the DSP wars: the future may very well lie in how (and where) spatial audio is adapted by competing streaming services, starting this year.
Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration
We could say this every year, and it would always hold true. Nonetheless; 2023 promises more cross-genre team ups and international link-ups that will likely have a defining impact on the charts. Expect, for instance, to hear the biggest voices in Latin music alongside those in Afrobeats and interesting sonic mashups possibly underscored by amapiano’s log drum. The year has already started off with Drake DM’ing amapiano producer Kelvin Momo so the possibilities are endless.