The music industry is developing at a breakneck pace. New forms of media gain traction and popularity every year, giving rise to new household names and redefining the ways in which audiences engage with artists. Concurrently, technological advancements have made previously unavailable creative resources available to a wider audience.
It is challenging to predict the music industry's future in such a fluid climate. Album sales were formerly more significant than Spotify streaming, and musicians relied on record deals to determine the course of their careers.
The music industry today looks nothing like it did even 10 years ago, and while that may be unsettling to some, it also creates space for novel ideas and approaches that may restore artists' agency and introduce audiences to their work in fresh and innovative ways.
But that raises the question, "what will that look like?”
To simplify and democratize the music and advertising industries, A.I. research and development will automate a wide range of currently manual, time-consuming, and labor-intensive tasks.
AI tools, such as A.I.-mediated composition and voice synthesis, will revolutionize the music industry by allowing thousands of artists in every corner of the globe to produce high-quality, professionally-sounding music for a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.
Today's artists still face a sea of competition. Currently, in 2022, Spotify is adding over 60,000 tunes per day, and there is every reason to think that this number will continue to rise. AI-enabled music creation will throw open even more doors, but with an ever-increasing catalog, listeners' attention will always be in short supply.
By streamlining the process, A.I. will also facilitate the development and distribution of timely, relevant communications to the intended recipients. From a financial perspective, it will make it easier for musicians to contact their fans, which should lead to increased revenue.
Younger generations (those born between 1980 and 2000) are ditching radio in favour of podcasts. Which begs the question, why would tech giants like Spotify and Apple invest millions in podcasting?
Nowadays, musicians aren't interested in sticking to the album format. To maintain fan interest, the band only drops new music intermittently. We're reacting to this fact by working together to create new music, releasing singles, and attending even more impressive live performances (another prediction: the live experience will become increasingly frantic).
Video formats are undoubtedly something that record labels and artists should take into account. There is no denying the reality that significant businesses like Apple and Universal have boosted their spending on video production.
Additionally, it's not unusual for musically themed feature films to influence the popularity of previously released albums. Two such instances are the success of the Bohemian Rhapsody movie and Netflix's investment in music-related documentaries.
Latin music's rapid growth, led by stars like Bad Bunny, Luis Fonsi, and Becky G, is related the proliferation of online music streaming services in Latin America.
Indian, African, and South Korean idols dominate the majority of charts all around the world. For this reason, collaborations like Blackpink featuring Dua Lipa will become the norm rather than the exception.
In the future, fandom will be considerably more regionally diverse and scattered over the world. Streaming facilitates local cultural movements, as seen by the growth of indigenous rap scenes in Germany, France, and the Netherlands, which have taken mainstream popularity away from global artist brands.
Without having to fumble with text interfaces and scroll through albums or playlists, voice searches will let users easily listen to music that meets their immediate mood or choice.
The local markets will be tied to the democratization that is driving the current music streaming trends. The way in which music is consumed in these countries is likely to differ from the norm. The music industry's attention will shift to regional and local offerings to accommodate the growing number of streamers from all over the world.
Listeners' methods of music discovery will be revolutionized by contextual playlists, and generative music (music made by algorithms and computer systems) will become increasingly popular among those who want mood-specific listening experiences.
The album format has been steadily declining over the past many years, and this is news to no one, thanks to the streaming economy's unbundling of music. We're not the ones to declare "the end of the album" since that's a bit dramatic though.
Music fans are increasingly turning to streaming services' recommendation algorithms and curated playlists to hear new music. Traditional albums will take a back seat to the single song in the future years, with the latter serving as the primary medium for new music production and dissemination.
New media content platforms fought for viewers' attention ten years ago. The rise of streaming services like Spotify, YouTube, Netflix, and others like them can be attributed to their success in capturing users' free time and focus.
Since several content platforms and services have already captured all of the consumer's available attention, the only way for any one of them to expand is for the others to shrink as users migrate from one to the next.
As a result of the post-peak attention economy, the music business has significant difficulties and must work more closely with other sectors, both inside the industry and across different mediums and formats, such as video and video games.
Video-sharing websites like YouTube, Twitch, and TikTok have increased the crossover between the music and gaming sectors.
TikTok and similar apps that encourage creative remixing of music by its users have the potential to reduce boundaries across musical styles (and between creators). There is already something like that in the underground electronic scene, and it will spread to other genres in the future.
Historically, labels and producers have wielded considerable sway over creative decisions. However, thanks to social media, musicians may now build their own brands and engage with their fans directly (without the involvement of record labels).
This will cause record labels to act more like venture capital firms, taking care of the business side of things while the artist (and their manager) concentrate on making great music and establishing their brand.
It's remarkable to think that in just 20 years or so, the internet has entirely transformed the music industry, and we're only at the beginning of this revolution. Artists will be able to make instantaneous, high-quality music through widespread cooperation and the spread of new technologies.
Streaming services will expand into hitherto untapped regions, providing millions with instantaneous access to an infinite library of music. Emerging markets, not the established ones that dominate the sector at the moment, will drive the trend toward more democracy.
Artists will reach new listeners all around the world and in their own backyards. More and more novel applications of music will emerge in the future. In the future, barriers between different forms of media will dissolve. These actions have already begun in earnest. To see into the future, one need just comprehend the current changes.