The Question: What Will Music Look Like in a Decade?
We asked a half dozen leaders in the music and technology field:
What do you think the music industry will look like in five years? How about in ten years?
Sharky Laguana, Founder/CEO of Bandago:
I am hearing rumblings of some big changes in the industry coming soon. After decades of largely staying away from the music industry there are a few significant VC firms making substantial investments in the sector - focusing on stealth technologies we haven't heard about yet. Tech is impossible to predict. I can say though that in ten years subscription streaming music will likely be greater than 90% of recorded music revenue. So figuring out how royalties should be distributed, how the ecosystem should be supported, and how we determine the "winners" are critical questions in terms of a healthy ecosystem.
Jim Griffin, Co-Founder of Pho and Managing Director of OneHouse
Five years, or a decade out I expect and hope music will be more anarchistic than it is today, which is beautiful. It's much of what makes music great -- that edge, the push almost beyond where any of us would think to go in our rational mind. And yet it brings beauty and creative expression to the forefront in ways that inspire us to think differently in every way. If the opposite happens, we are in a world of trouble. Taming music's tendencies is not a path we should relish, so let freedom ring in every way.
Vickie Nauman, Founder/Owner of CrossBorderWorks:
Ahhhh where is my crystal ball???? I believe we are now heading down a path to a point at which we will have just a handful of very large global companies and platforms competing for music fans' limited time/attention/money. There will be more consolidation of both rights holders as well as music services, and there will be very few standalone music services unless the economics change. The power is in consumers' hands and in order to foster growth, the broad industry will need to shore up data between labels and publishers and PROs, capture every penny, and innovate on models and service types that will meet consumers' needs.
Paul Wiltshire, Founder/CEO of Songtradr:
On the surface, I think it will look similar to how it does today. The current demand for more transparency, especially when it comes to rights owner payments, will power new technologies to find solutions which will continue to further empower DIY artists. Advancement in technology will also open up new revenue opportunities for artists and music creators and the general demand for music will increase. Consolidation of DIY artists services seems inevitable. In summary, better systems equal fewer hands in the pot and more thriving independent artists running their own shops on the backs of powerful technology platforms.
Stephen White, CEO of Dubset Media:
The crystal balls are almost always wrong on this stuff. I hope that in the next 5-10 years we see the true opening up of the music market to properly capture the tremendous value that music has to people all over the world and enables significant increases in royalties to artists. I believe we will see the continuation of the exciting trends of direct artist-fan engagement and transparency and rapid (near real time) payment to artists.
music techtonics is a publication of rock paper scissors, a music and tech public relations firm