The Covid pandemic hit so many businesses. Trying to remain afloat during this period has been extremely difficult. The music industry has not been exempt. Artists, digital services, songwriters, and music companies are having to deal with the implications.
The cancellation of tours and festivals left a gaping hole in the pockets of many. Studio sessions, video shoots, mastering, and mixing have been reduced due to calls for social distancing.
But it is not all bleak and doom. Different players have had to innovate and come up with new ideas. Virtual performances, home recording, and digital monetization have brought some relief.
There is a lot to expect in terms of future trends in the music industry post-Covid. So what are they?
1. Music Industry Adoption of AI Technologies
AI technologies are not a new concept in music production. Artificial intelligence uses data to understand the type of music that audiences love. This development impacts customer user experience. Music recommendation is possible using algorithms that take into account past listening behavior.
It can go further to give suggestions while taking into account the moods of the listener and the time of the day. Such technologies are a vital marketing tool due to the level of personalization they offer.
AI can also create music that is sure to sell. A good example is Jukebox. It is an AI-powered software that can generate music in different styles and genres.
A significant cost for many music companies is the upfront investment in new or emerging artists. There is no assurance of ROI even after spending cash and time in music creation.
Unfortunately, artists must contend with some of the less pleasant implications of technology. Yet for music companies, it is an important step in ensuring profitability.
2. Social Media and Digital Space to Dominate
Take a minute to search for Verzuz on the internet. The web series is the brainchild of Swizz Beatz and Timbaland. It is a music battle that brings together different musicians. So far some performances were Monica vs. Brandy, SWV vs. Xscape, and Ashanti buses Keyshia Cole.
The number of people who tune in to the Instagram live concerts runs in the millions. The platform was the perfect response to the cancellation of life events during the pandemic.
The creative idea has been a fantastic way to capture and engage with audiences. It all happens in the digital space. This means that people can still adhere to social distancing calls.
Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Tiktok, and YouTube will continue to remain popular. Artists and audiences will flock to the platforms to consume their favorite music.
And that’s not all, free online music promotion platforms give independent artists a boost in the industry. They find like-minded individuals that they can collaborate with.
These include music producers, promoters, MCs, and emerging artists. Audiences get an avenue to explore new music and artists. It’s a great way to get music out there without spending too much.
3. Larger Uptake of Streaming Services
With the digitization of music, the sale of physical music material has experienced a decline. A lot of the revenue coming into the industry is from digital platforms, especially streaming. The number of new subscribers has been on a steady increase.
The World Economic Forum reports that revenue from such platforms went up by up to 70% in 2020. The trend was interesting because, at the beginning of that year, streaming services were down.
There was a year-on-year increase of up to 50.4% and over 42.7 million paying users. The increase was largely attributable to the fact that events and concerts are no longer options. As long as the Coronavirus continues to wreak havoc, we can expect the trend to remain.
4. A Rise in the Independent Culture
Many of the bigger artists delayed the release of music due to the issues that were ongoing in the industry. The inability to tour for instance had a big impact on the decision.
Many are waiting for a lift of some of the bans to become active again. When and if it happens, there will be a lot of competition for the attention of audiences.
But meanwhile, emerging and independent artists have a fantastic opportunity to shine. Audiences have more time to explore new artists, genres, and sounds. The independent culture is setting in and may weather the current storm.
New and emerging artists also have partnership opportunities with other entertainment players. A good example would be Lizzo, whose Truth Hurts song featured in the Netflix movie Someone Great. The boost in her career was evident after commanding a spot in the Billboard’s Hot 100.
Platforms like Pollen on Spotify are another way for independent artists to get visibility. It develops playlists that do not focus on a specific genre. The algorithms take into account listener idiosyncrasies, cultural preferences, moods, and lifestyle to curate.
5. Greater Creative Control and Ownership for Artists
Technology has made it possible for artists to have more control and ownership of the processes. This has been a significant benefit for many new and emerging artists. The dependence on record labels to produce and launch music no longer applies.
With a laptop and the right software, the artist can create music. Multiple distribution channels and social media gives access to broad audience bases. Marketing opportunities are also plentiful while being cost-effective.
Financial constraints brought about by the pandemic further increase the appeal. It may very well be time for record labels to reinvent themselves. They will need to take a more active role in positioning themselves as attractive options for such services hbomax.com/tvsignin.
The power has now shifted to the artists. And, we can expect the trend to continue post-Covid.
The Covid pandemic was, and continues to be, a big blow to many businesses. The same has applied to the music industry. There have, however, been some gains that will remain relevant post-Covid.
The use of AI technologies will revolutionize so many aspects. Such include music creation and recommendations to target audiences. The uptake of streaming services will continue. Social distancing is something that we may have to learn to live with, as long as the pandemic exists.
Independent artists have a chance to reach audiences who are searching for new content. They will through technology and digitalization of music have greater control and ownership of whatever they put out. It will be interesting to see which trends continue to dominate going forward.