Predictions can be a tricky thing, but if we look at the trends in the music business over the last year we can see where things might be going. Here are 5 more predictions for how the industry will fare in 2019.
1. Streaming Services Remain Unprofitable. Almost all dedicated streaming services are very good at what they do except for one thing – making money. Choked by the weight of label licensing deals, these platforms struggle to find a way to become profitable, leading to a major market consolidation that begins in the new year.
2. Article 13 Brings YouTube Chaos. Be careful what you wish for, major labels, as YouTube is plunged into chaos following the passage of EU Article 13, which holds streaming platforms responsible for the files that their users upload. With YouTube (and other streaming platforms) having to purge so many videos, artists and labels take a big hit in revenue, but even worse, in exposure as well.
3. Artists Use Social Media For Promo Less. Many artists have relied on social media as a method of both growing and engaging their fan bases, but that changes in 2019 as the only way to large-scale engagement comes from paid promotion on the various social platforms. Many artists drop off because of principle – even more because of the cost. Instagram carries the load, at least for a while until it focuses more on revenue that users.
4. Live Music Legends Replaced By New Faces. The concert industry has long worried about what would happen after the 60s, 70s and 80s legends stopped touring, but a new crop of superstars prove that there are stadiums that they can fill. The live portion of the industry continues to grow despite higher ticket prices and perceived price gouging.
5. Streaming Changes Song Structure Even More. Over the last couple of years song structure has changed because of streaming, with fades giving way to beginning a song right on the chorus to hard endings. Now song length will be the next to change as artists make songs shorter. After all, it’s more profitable to have a fan listen twice instead of to only one longer song.