Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Music Industry Trends For 2011

Here's a post that I wrote for the great Hypebot blog earlier in the week regarding what I see as some of the music industry trends that we'll see in 2011. For those of you who don't read Hypebot (you really should because it's a great music industry blog), I thought it would be a good idea to repost it here.

I'd really like to thank Bruce and Kyle at Hypebot for all their support this year. They've been a great proponent of my Music 3.0 guidebook, and have frequently posted excerpts from it, for which I am much appreciative.

As I see it, there will be several important trends in 2011, but they’ll all be mostly a continuation of what we’ve seen in 2010.

1) The most important trend for 2011 will be realism.

*  The realism that DIY takes a lot of work and the rewards aren’t as great as in the heyday of the major labels. Musicians and artists will begin to see success in a different way as making a living replaces stardom as the big score.
*  The realism that social networking has limitations, and traditional marketing and promotion can’t be abandoned. You still need both for effective branding and marketing.
*  The realism that the touring market is not nearly the goldmine that it once was during better economic times. Fewer venues, less money and more competition makes gigging more difficult than ever. That being said, look for this to loosen up a bit towards the end of the year as the economy rebounds.
*  And the realism that some things in the music business never change. You still need talent, some great songs, lots of hard work, and a little luck to make your mark.
Other trends for 2011 include:
2) The major labels lose even more influence, but don't go away. They'll always be needed for what they do best - taking a successful artist and making them a superstar.
3) A new generation of record label will emerge, helmed by music entrepreneurs like those in the 50's and 60's. These entrepreneurs are part of their audience, love the same music, and are as far away from corporate execs as you can get.
4) The album continues to lose ground. It’s no longer a total listening experience, so the listening consumer cherry-picks the best songs as a result. This trend will eventually reverse, but not in 2011.
5) Music subscription will finally reach critical mass as consumers realize its benefits and more services become available (iTunes subscription perhaps?).
You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.


Discordian said...

waiting and watching .....

Lighthouse Music said...

Pretty spot on assessment of the music biz I'd say. Also checked out these guys Discordant Society, awesome jam band type stuff. Keep it up guys. And check out our stuff at:


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