A lot has happened in 2013, but there were some standout music trends that will really shape the music industry in the coming year. In a recent episode of the Upward Spiral podcast Darren Hemmings, founder of Motive Unknown, a strategic digital marketing consultancy, talked about the top music trends of last year. Check out some of the points below:
1. Music Royalties Become Mainstream Topic
2013 saw streaming services, particularly Spotify, make headlines concerning the royalties that are given back to featured artists. This rise in publicity is due to several artists expressing concern over the payouts they received from Spotify.
“When someone who is particularly famous opts to pick a fight, then everybody loves that. I think the media particularly loves negative things happening, because they’re more interesting and more dramatic. So particularly when artists come out and deliver quite blunt words around what they’re earning back from certain services, it’s inevitably going to get some attention.”
While several major artists gained media attention when calling out the streaming service for it’s minimal payouts, their claims are not always entirely accurate.
“David Byrne’s claims around the revenue on Spotify were just factually quite wide of the mark. That kind of thing bothersme a bit, because it perpetuates bad wisdom.
I get it a lot where even when you’re working with bands — artists I’m involved with — you talk to them about this subject, and what they tell you is what they read from people like David Byrne because he gets all the press.
The rebuttal that a significantly less famous but very intelligent industry person might make doesn’t get any of the attention. People don’t want to read that, they want to read David Byrne being angry about something.”
2. Streaming Services Fail to Reach Mainstream
Although streaming music services had increased media coverage in 2013, we have started to wonder if streaming has reached a market saturation point.
“It’s the one thing I think the entire streaming services market has got to unite on is pushing the method of consumption via streaming services as being a mainstream proposition. It looks like they’re all planning their moves to knock out the other competition.”
Hemmings believes the greatest challenge for Spotitfy will be moving away from music fanatics and trying to capture the interest of casual music listeners.
“The irony of Spotify is that they need more people using it who don’t like music anywhere near as much. For the model to work, they need a lot of people paying, but only streaming it a little bit. Then there’s more money to break up among all of those streams as they pay out to people. But that’s a kind of weird thing right? They’ve got to win over super casual music consumers. Right here and now, I struggle with that, because super casual music consumers are probably quite happy with radio.”