3 Factors Will Dominate The Music World In 2017

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3 Factors Will Dominate The Music World In 2017
February 3, 2017

This coming year is poised to be a very big one for music considering that the industry is now on track to grow, as was also the case in 2016. The entire music industry had been failing for over a decade, but the bleeding seems to have stopped and revenues are slowly rising. Beyond the upward trajectory, there is a lot going on in the music world, from the expansion of the festival industry to the nonstop flow of new music from superstars to new and exciting brand partnerships. For those covering the business of music, myself included, every day brings something new and worthy of printing, though there are always a few topics that seem to sprout a multitude of stories throughout a year.

 

Here are three stories that are likely to pop up in the news more than a few times over the next 11 months.

 

Growth Of Streaming

 

At the end of every year, reports show how much streaming has grown as a category, and that figure is often juxtaposed against the continuing decline of sales across almost all mediums. While it’s wonderful to see how many songs were streamed on the major platforms over a year, that’s not the only story associated with the incredible gains enjoyed by streaming sites.

 

It seems like at least once a month, there is a news item that grabs headlines and shows the industry (and the world at large) just how fast streaming is capturing the public’s ears. New songs and albums by some of the biggest stars on the planet break records on Spotify when they’re released, tracks blow past important milestones and streaming factors into the charts in many countries in more important ways than it ever has before.

 

For example, in 2016, Drake’s “One Dance” became the first song to hit 1 billion plays on Spotify, and the incredible popularity of Chance The Rapper’s Coloring Book mixtape helped it become the first streaming-only album to hit the top 10 on the Billboard 200. Just last month, Ed Sheeran shattered streaming records (more than once, actually) when he released his two new singles, and it’s possible that his impressive feat will be bested later this year by some other pop star. 

 

Those are just three of the many, many items related to the surge in streams that grows every year. For a long time to come, records will be broken and the numbers will climb ever higher, and at least for now, there is no end in sight.

 

Spotify's IPO

 

It seems as if the music industry has been talking about Spotify going public for a long time now, and yet still little is known about when this will actually happen...or even if it will at all. There are plenty of signs pointing to an IPO, and it has now gotten to the point where whenever anything happens at the Swedish streaming company, it is broken down and analyzed, with every blogger and media outlet giving their own take on how the most recent event might matter when it comes to a future public offering. It's not that these predictions and assumptions aren't well-informed, and plenty of them might be entirely correct, but there certainly are a lot of them. 

 

Between earnings statements, high-level staff coming and going and the goings-on of competitors like Pandora and Apple Music, there is plenty to be excited about when it comes to the world’s most popular streaming site going for shareholders, but the company is staying pretty mum about it. While it’s not confirmed, many believe 2017 will finally see this happen...but between then and now, there is sure to be a slew of articles attempting to predict what will or won’t happen, and how well things will go.

 

AR/VR

 

VR (and AR to a lesser extent) has been one of the sexiest topics in the music industry for a few years now, with plenty of forward-looking people projecting how important it will be for artists and the businesses as a whole. Every time a company invests in, partners with or acquires a VR-focused startup, it’s a headline, and more and more artists are experimenting with the technology to see what it can do for their music videos. Plenty of brands with enough capital to do so are including VR and AR into their experiential marketing plans, combining music and tech in fun ways...for those that can actually experience it in person.

 

Many music industry publications will continue to discuss the seemingly limitless possibilities afforded (afford being a key word here) to those willing to invest in the technology, but while it all sounds potentially revolutionary, both AR and VR are still out of reach for most musical artists people. Articles can explain how important these verticals will be in the future forever, but for the moment, those pieces will remain conjecture, as it’s still difficult to get this sort of content out in a major way, and it’s incredibly expensive to have it made, with few ideas about how to recoup any of those out of pocket expenses.

 

These are, by no means, the only big stories that will be discussed at length in the coming year, but they are ones that are sure to be covered over and over again, with every little detail becoming a story of its own.

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