Technology has significantly influenced the way we purchase, listen to and interact with music in the last few decades. There’s no denying that it has continued to revolutionize music industry trends today. The days of rewinding cassettes and buying multiple CDs for the Walkman are now behind us, and people are growing more and more comfortable with integrating modern technology into their daily lives. The same can be said for the music industry, which hasn’t been immune to these advancements.
While the advent of technology has made the music business more accessible, the Covid-19 pandemic has done equally to harm it. Covid-19 has caused physical sales, which represent a quarter of recorded music revenues, to drop by one-third while digital sales have fallen around 11%. With music sales and music streaming both declining rapidly, artists are having a difficult time transforming their passion into income. It’s why musicians have turned to the gaming industry for assistance with digital music promotion – but that’s a different story altogether.
Every industry has been affected and influenced by the pandemic, but the music industry has suffered greatly. Here’s what the pandemic has done though: It has presented artists with an opportunity to revolutionize the music business just as technology has. You can bring artists closer to fans without bringing them physically closer, and where live concert experiences are concerned, alternatives to them might be slightly different but they’ve still retained their charm. Digital music promotion is the way forward, music production and music marketing services have transformed forever – and now it’s up to musicians to adapt to these changes.
1. Live Streaming Is The Future
Let’s discuss the otherworldly influence of Covid-19 on live streaming, shall we? Live concerts – an idea that was many times laughed at has become ubiquitous in the past year. With world tours canceled and no room left for artists to connect with fans, even the most well-established superstars are taking the path less traveled. From casual iPhone sessions to costlier, extravagant live stream experiences (Did you know Dua Lipa’s Thanksgiving concert cost her $1.5million?) Live streaming has become something of an ecosystem on its own.
Remember Travis Scott’s stint on Fortnite? The singer chose the gaming industry as a way to get music heard and earned a whopping $20 million from it. If you’re still feeling unconvinced about the live music business, here’s another fact: Three out of four people attended an online event during the pandemic, as per a survey of 1,000 consumers conducted by UTA IQ, the research and strategy division of the Beverly Hills talent agency. From everyone who participated in a virtual event, 88% said they planned to do so again even when in-person gatherings would make a return. Live Streaming is a tool for the present: it’s cheaper, easier, smarter, and considering the trying times we’re in – it’s also much safer.
2. TikTok Is Digital Music Promotion At Its Best
Even today, the months leading up to an album release include teasers, fancy magazine covers, tell-all interviews, and sneak-peeks. Not only is that a lot of work, but the resources for artists to navigate all of that amid a global lockdown are immensely stressful. If there’s anything we’ve noticed since the pandemic began, it is that the most talked-about music hits have been discovered on TikTok, a video-sharing platform with music discovery at the core of its identity.
The video-sharing platform has about 1 billion monthly active users, is available in 154 countries worldwide and 75 different languages. The app has been installed more than 1.4 billion times. Is this statistic making you wonder what the app could do for a musician’s career yet?
As per TikTok, over 70 viral artists that broke on the platform in 2020 received major label deals, including Dixie D’Amelio, Claire Rosinkranz, Powfu, Priscilla Block, and Tai Verdes. On January 8, 17-year-old Olivia Rodrigo’s song ‘Drivers License’ became the world’s biggest track, thanks to a viral TikTok video trend. Three days later, it set Spotify’s record for most streams in a day (for a non-holiday song) with over 15.17 million global streams. The power of TikTok is unmatchable and unlike anything, we know today – and musicians should make the most of it.
3. Brand Endorsements And Deals Are Bringing Back Revenue
Where (or rather, who) do artists go when the biggest source of their revenue is impossible to monetize? It has been confirmed that 75% of an artist’s revenue comes from touring, selling merchandise, licensing music for television, movies, or video games, and partnerships or side businesses. Tours account for a majority of their income, and without them, musicians have begun turning to global brands, who have a) money to spare and b) could be more successful with some celebrity endorsement.
Here are some instances: Lady Gaga created multi-colored limited-edition cookies with Oreo, to promote her album ‘Chromatica’. Travis Scott inked deals with McDonald’s, Hot Wheels, Nerf and Fortnite among others, earning $100 million. Post Malone collaborated with Crocs – again. Brand endorsements and deals among celebrities are at an all-time high and it’s unsurprising for that to change anytime soon.
4. Music Is Accessible And Distribution Channels Are Plenty
The memory of filling up your iPod playlist with carefully curated digital files seems so old that the memory is foggy itself. It’s the reason why one of the most industry-defining changes in the music industry over the past decade has been the way music is delivered to listeners. The rise of streaming services such as Apple Music, Deezer, and Spotify among others have taken over in establishing themselves as a go-to online store for people to listen to music.
Billions of songs exist on these platforms and are simply waiting to be downloaded. It’s why these platforms are popular – they give listeners the chance to enjoy music whenever and wherever they want. And the process takes mere minutes. There’s no need to sync your music player with your computer anymore because a world full of music is at your disposal with the click (or touch) of a button!
5. Music Production Is For Everyone
Fortunately, new technological innovations have also ensured that anyone can learn music production, and all by themselves. There’s no need to spend thousands of dollars on a recording studio – you can do it from the comfort of your home. Enhanced software and the rise of online production schools have made music production a reality for budding artists. They can personally create studio-quality music in an easy and affordable way. All you need is a computer, some software, an aptitude for music and you could be dropping award-winning tracks every day.
As technology continues to infiltrate every aspect of our being today, it wouldn’t be an assumption to say that there’s no limit to how positively these changes can affect the music industry.