The music industry has undergone a significant transformation in the past few decades, with the advent of digital music distribution. The rise of streaming services has disrupted the traditional music distribution model, and the industry has had to adapt to keep up with the changing landscape. In this article, we will explore the current state of music distribution and where it is headed in the future.
The Current State of Music Distribution
Streaming services have become the primary mode of music distribution in recent years. According to Forbes1, the global recorded music industry is expected to close 2019 at roughly 21 billion, and Goldman Sachs forecasts that today’s numbers will more than double to 31 billion by 2022. This growth is driven by the increasing popularity of streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal.While streaming has been a boon for the music industry, it has also created challenges. Many artists and labels have criticized streaming services for their low royalty rates, which they say do not adequately compensate them for their work. Additionally, the rise of streaming has led to a decline in physical music sales, which has hurt record stores and other retailers.
The Future of Music Distribution
The future of music distribution is likely to be shaped by a number of factors, including advances in technology, changes in consumer behavior, and evolving business models. One trend that is likely to continue is the growth of streaming services. As more people around the world gain access to high-speed internet, streaming services will become even more popular.Another trend that is likely to shape the future of music distribution is the rise of independent artists. As Music Business Worldwide2 notes, independent artists are increasingly using DIY distribution platforms to release their music. This trend has created challenges for major record labels, which are struggling to compete with the sheer volume of music being released by independent artists.To compete with independent artists, major labels may begin to focus more on quality over quantity. As Music Business Worldwide notes, major labels may soon pressure streaming services to pay out higher royalties for ‘quality’ or ‘premium’ artists – especially those who attract subscribers to their service.Advances in technology are also likely to shape the future of music distribution. As Forbes1notes, artificial intelligence and machine learning are already being used to help artists and labels identify new trends and opportunities. In the future, these technologies may be used to create personalized music recommendations for listeners, or to help artists create new music.
The future of music distribution is likely to be shaped by a number of factors, including advances in technology, changes in consumer behavior, and evolving business models. While streaming services have disrupted the traditional music distribution model, they have also created new opportunities for artists and labels. As the industry continues to evolve, it will be important for artists, labels, and streaming services to work together to create a sustainable and equitable music ecosystem.