The music industry is one of the fastest-evolving industries in the world. Every year, new digital platforms are rising, skyrocketing previously-obscure artists to prominence, changing the way how artists connect with audiences, and putting creative tools and technologies into the hands of music lovers.
Since the music scene is evolving so rapidly, it can be pretty tricky to predict it. However, there are some major trends that have come to the fore and will continue to dominate the music industry in the coming years.
More Competitive Streaming Services
Streaming services are focusing more and more on flexibility and personalization, and as their customizability grows, so will their numbers. In fact, Goldman Sachs forecasted that the music industry will hit an astounding $41 billion in revenue by 2030, a majority of which will be due to paid streaming.
This is primarily due to music streaming services like Spotify, which allows users to find and share songs, make playlists, and get recommendations based on similar genres and artists.
However, streaming services will need to go beyond this to get a greater audience. Some ways that they can achieve this by:
- Highly segmenting songs by artists, genres, and moods
- Allowing users to stream a greater number of songs every day while avoiding ads
- Leveraging social media like TikTok, YouTube, and Twitter to increase engagement with the artist
There will also be an increased focus on protecting the musicians’ rights and preserving records so that future generations can listen to the music the way it is meant to be listened. Fans have also become increasingly connected with artists and now have a sense of loyalty and kinship that involves protecting the integrity of the artist and preserving the value of their music.
Innovators Leading the Music Industry
The future of music is also going to focus on other types of streaming content as a means of providing exposure to emerging artists or artists who want to reinvent their sound. Already, there are several innovators in the industry who are coming up with great new ways to do this. As such, record label executives are investing in documentaries and biopics, while gaming companies are now collaborating with artists for in-game musical concerts.
Just consider the example of Dominic Houston, Netflix’s Head of Music, who plays a big role when it comes to mainstream artists producing concert films for the platform and curating the soundtracks of Netflix’s original shows and movies before even the actors have been cast.
As you can see, it is not just record label executives that will be driving the music scene in the future – collaborations between various media are expected to create success for artists where other tactics have failed.
Artificial Intelligence-Assisted Music Creation
When it comes to AI technology, it is very interesting to explore what kind of impact it will have on music years from today. One of the trends will be the rise in AI-assisted songwriting, which has the potential to revolutionize the way people create music. Through AI technology, artists can improve their songs by inspiring lyrics and spicing up simple chord progressions, resulting in unlimited exciting possibilities for musicians everywhere.
In addition, AI can even be even more useful when it comes to mixing and mastering songs. Even though AI technology is being used to mix and master songs currently (eg. LANDR), the technology will continue to improve in the coming years, which will be endlessly helpful for human audio engineers in creating masterpieces of music.
The Decline of the Album
Thanks to streaming music technologies, we have experienced the decline of the album and the rise of the song. Streaming services have unpacked the album by allowing music listeners to discover single songs, irrespective of the artists they belong to, through recommendation algorithms focused on genre and mood.
Although albums won’t be going away anytime soon, they are now set to play a supporting role to individual songs and music videos that will now take center stage and are expected to become the bread and butter of music creation and distribution.
In the future, we can expect artists to step out of their traditional album cycle and experiment with singles by offering more remixes, acoustic versions, and producer versions of every song. It can be an exciting area for artists to explore and can help them unleash their creativity the way they have never before.
Hyperpop Music Will Remain
Hyperpop music is one of the hottest music genres in the world, involving everything we associate with pop music, including catchy tunes and repeating melodies but exaggerated until it appears to be a completely new format of music. The genre is fueled by artists like 100 GECs, Charli XCX, Lil Mariko, and SOPHIE and it is not just expected to continue but will influence other genres of music as well.
The beauty of hyperpop music is that it is crafted to shock and stand apart from all other music and cause raw emotions to surface in the listener. Although not everyone will become a fan of the hyper-music movement, there is a lot of potential for hyperpop musicians to enter the mainstream in the coming years.
In the short span of two decades, the internet has completely shaped the music scene – and the transformation is far from over. Sooner rather than later, artists will have full autonomy to create their own music on the spot and release them to a streaming service of their choice as these platforms enter new markets, giving millions of people access to unlimited music.
Artists will seek to connect with their audience in more innovative and personalized ways and their music will be altered and used in more unique ways. New formats of music will be placed on the backburners as artists explore creative new formats, which have the potential to grab more audiences for a longer amount of time.
The sound of music itself will change as the genre of music will undergo a transformation – even as older formats of music make a comeback. As digital technology continues to advance, it will be very exciting to see how the future of music plays out.