The new year is upon us, which means it’s time to look into the crystal ball to foresee what might happen in the music business in 2016. Here are 5 predictions that may not be very popular, but might end coming to pass.
Prediction #1: Pandora goes global
One of the most significant and generally overlooked moves of 2015 was Pandora’s bid on some of Rdio’s streaming assets out of bankruptcy. While this move is still contingent on the court, acquiring this infrastructure will allow Pandora to become an interactive service like Spotify, and allow it to begin servicing other markets besides the United States as a result. With a solid 80 million user base in the US alone (which is what Spotify has globally), setting up shop worldwide will allow Pandora to become a true rival to Spotify.
Prediction #2: Vinyl shows its last big growth spurt
Vinyl sales have seen double digit growth for about 5 years and that will continue in 2016 as well, thanks to increased pressing plant capacity brought about by newly manufactured presses (the first in over 30 years) and widespread availability of turntables so buyers can actually listen to their purchases. Although sales will continue to increase beyond 2016, they’ll be much more modest as the number of new buyers diminishes due to saturation of the market. 2016 will be the last year of the true vinyl “revival.”
Prediction #3: Amazon Prime Music makes a move
Amazon Prime Music has been a minor add-on to a Prime subscription until now, but that doesn’t mean that Amazon isn’t taking music streaming seriously. The company has all the infrastructure it needs to launch a mainstream music-only service, and 2016 will be the year it does so. Amazon has also been dipping its toe in the water of becoming a full-fledged record label with its occasional offerings from Amazon Acoustics, which could potentially signal what might be a major part of the service and could be a differentiator in a crowded market. Read more on Forbes.