To fully disclose the topic indicated in the title, it is clear that life is not enough, maybe not even one. At the same time, we need to talk about this right now – at a time when the global music industry is in a state of panic and chaos.
Too fast and at first glance the situation changes unpredictably, too many obvious realities come as a surprise to seemingly recognized professionals in their field. But it was enough just to find time to think about what awaits us in the music industry in the future …
The music industry is going through hard years – media sales continue to fall, music is distributed for free via the Internet, people forget about the correct use of copyright free music, and even big music concerns are not able to influence this. However, young independent labels continue to emerge.
Artificial intelligence and music applications
During 2016, the music industry experienced double-digit growth for the first time since 1998, for which they should thank artificial intelligence and use it on platforms like Spotify.
The biggest driver of growth, the RIAA notes, was the doubling of revenue from paid streaming services such as Apple Music, Spotify, and Pandora. In fact, for the first time, music streaming platforms generated the bulk of the revenue for the US music industry. And despite the pandemic, this is what is profitable for artists now and will continue to be profitable in the future.
AI allows you to go beyond the obvious song suggestions and uncover options that may not be on your radar screen. This way, Pandora, Apple Music, Spotify, and other music apps won’t just recommend songs you already know by artist or genre. For example, if you create a Johnny Cash radio station, they will analyze the attributes of Johnny Cash and other artists’ songs to recommend, say, Lynyrd Skynyrds Sweet Home Alabama, because the song has similar rock and country influences and moderate rhythmic syncopation.
AI and mainstream streaming services are trying to make their directories even more personal.
The impact of COVID-19 on the music arena
Music is now undergoing its worst shock since World War II.
The entire global music industry is worth about $ 50 billion. Since the beginning of 2020, the total loss has already amounted to 10 billion. By the fall of 2021, according to preliminary calculations, the global industry has already lost 22 billion, that is, almost half of its entire capacity. And while these numbers are only growing
Which sector of the music industry will be most affected?
Do you think we will talk about concerts? But no. 60% of all money in the concert market is earned by 1% of the world’s top artists. They are the ones who are losing millions now. But, firstly, they have where to fall.
Second, they just as quickly catch up later. Moreover, the money that the top projects from the “golden one percent” have lost and continue to lose is not only the fees of the artists themselves. A significant part of the costs is logistics: truck drivers with a stage structure and other personnel. Professionals who relate to the music industry very indirectly suffer the most.
Why labels are needed and what the future holds
There are answers to the question of what the label should make money on now when music is not selling so well. Since the label helps organize performances, it has a percentage of this – now this is generally the artist’s main income. You can also sell music to advertisements and movies, distribute merchandise. Well, some of the digital and mobile sales still have some bang for their buck. In addition to all this, we, as a studio, sometimes receive orders for various kinds of music production.
Xuman Records is rather a kind of production center that performs, in addition to everything else, the functions of a label. In our opinion, a modern record label should be a community of people, where a full cycle of tasks is carried out for each of their artists.
With this scheme, the task of the label is to give the artist everything they can, or, in other words, to let the world know about the artist and his music. It sounds, of course, a little pretentious, but this is what they need to strive for.
A good example of a label doing this is Ed Banger Records. Much of what Pedro Winter, their leader, does is bold, fresh, and has an incredible impact.
The future: what will become of labels in a few years
We think that the majors are not going anywhere – they are an integral part of a big-big machine, not just a musical one. DIY artists can do a lot on their own now – if there is the Internet and a head on their shoulders, everything can work.
However, on a more serious level, management will be needed. And this can be a label, a PR company, a management company, or the artist himself. The role of the label as the release link is not so important anymore. But they are important because, firstly, they are in charge of management, and secondly, such a label has its own clear and identifiable face that may be of interest to the listener.
Indie labels that only release are not very promising. Nevertheless, if they disappear, it will be very long ago. And indie labels that work in 360 degrees are more promising and cooler.