The rapid growth of technology has changed the way that the music industry runs. From the distribution to the consumption, it is constantly changing how consumers listen to music.

The Present

(c/o James Owen, Unsplash)

In 2019, musicians are still struggling to create a name for themselves and to develop as a brand. From discarded demos to cancelled shows, some things just stay consistent over the years. These are some common problems with the new musicians aspiring to enter the industry.

So, where is the music industry now? We've gathered three of the most prominent facts about the music industry in 2019:

  1. Charts mean less and less. For over 50 years, billboard charts have been the main focus for artists and labels all over the world. But with the increased use of streaming platforms, the relevance of charts are consistently deteriorating. The rise of social media platforms such as TikTok has become a space where user-generated content dominates and influences the popularity of top hits.
  2. Major labels are less influential. The emergence of video-sharing platforms has allowed aspiring artists to achieve massive exposure. Prior to the development of these platforms, artists wouldn't be able to have the same reach without them. We are moving towards a DIY world where indie and boutique labels are continuing to grow and flourish.
  3. The song structure is changing. Over the past couple of years, song structure has been changing due to the shift to music streaming. Now the industry is continuing to alter songs produced by making them shorter to increase the number of streams. Thus increasing the revenue produced by each song.

The Future

(c/o Samuel Zeller, Unsplash)

The future of the music industry is consistently moving forward and with the development and advancement of technology this does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Lets take a look at six ways that is quickly approaching.

  1. Hits will last for longer or forever. The changes of how music is distributed to the society has created a space where consumers are able to access music legally from the past. Top hits from today or tomorrow can last forever, and old hits can be brought back. For individuals to have the entire music industry at their finger tips creates endless possibilities.
  2. New genres will emerge. In the past when people were asked their favourite music genre, it would be quite simple, rock, pop, hip-hop, country. But as the music industry flourished, more people are leaning towards a melting pot of genres. They are more open to listening to songs that encompasses more than one genre.
  3. Music is becoming more global by being more local. The ability so share music all over the world has led to more diversity in the hit songs. Local artists are feeling more confident in producing music in their native language as they can see the success that has emerged in various songs.
  4. Rise of virtual reality. This will become the new normal for consumers to experience concerts and festivals without physically being there. VR is creating the opportunity for individuals living in rural areas to attend events that they wouldn't be able to go to in the past.
  5. Major superstars will be disappearing. As we see more self-made musicians entering the scene with the use of social media platforms, it is less likely that these individuals will be able to sustain themselves by just making music. Although there will be some exceptions, many artists will use it as a stepping stone to enter the industry and branch off to other things such as clothing, television, and film.
  6. Physical formats will continue to die. The continual use of streaming music rather than purchasing it in-store will deteriorate the number of physical formats being purchased. Although in the recent years the purchase of vinyls has soared because of the nostalgia, it is still just a small piece of the entire music industry revenue.

The music industry does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon, with very talented people being discovered everyday, it is important to stay on top of the trends and what is happening in the near future.

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