10 Predictions for Music's Future
I've got the crystal ball
Welcome, artists & builders.
Each week, we navigate music’s future together. Today I’m getting out my crystal ball & making some bold predictions on where music’s going.
Inside Issue #23
10 predictions on music’s future
Spotify’s actual minimum stream threshold
How to create content in the TikTok era
10 Predictions for the Next 5 Years of Music
So, where is music going?
Here’s some of my takes on shakeups we may see in the next 5 years. Boldness may vary.
It’s the year 2028…here’s what music looks like:
1. ONE BILLION MUSIC CREATORS
AI tools help blur the lines between artist & consumer. Most will create for an audience of one or in fun, easy, social, gamified experiences. Co-creation & interactivity become the leading driver of music's new growth.
2. 100 MILLION SONGS WILL BE RELEASED TO DSPS EACH YEAR
99% will be heard by no one.
These 275,000 songs per day will represent only a tiny fraction of the total songs created but not officially released.
The only way this doesn’t happen, is if…
3. MUSIC STREAMERS BECOME INCREASINGLY PAY-TO-PLAY
As they look to drive revenue & realize creators are willing to spend far more money than consumers ever will for mass consumption.
They will charge for things like
→ Playlist pitching
→ Annual track hosting
→ Boosts to reach your own audience
The experience will deteriorate & discerning fans will find other options.
(This is known as enshittification)
4. TAYLOR SWIFT IS THE LAST OF MUSIC’S GLOBAL SUPERSTARS
We never see an artist gain this level of multi-generational awareness again. Artists will sell out arenas, sell tons of albums, get billions of streams & have tons of fans (perhaps more than Taylor), but most people will not know who they are.
5. THE GREAT ARTIST UNBUNDLING
We'll see a major shift in the artist-fan experience away from mega-platforms that bundle all artists together as content, to artist-centric platforms that bundle each artist's music, art, engagement, membership & commerce.
Most passive consumption will still happen on mega-platforms, but…
6. MEGA-PLATFORMS & MAJORS MISS OUT ON THE “SUPERFAN” OPPORTUNITY
They're built for mass consumption & feed the lowest common denominator. Fandom is bespoke, and entirely new tools that center the artist-fan and fan-to-fan relationships will win.
7. AN AI-ARTIST PLAYS COACHELLA’S MAIN STAGE
An AI designed artist with a fully synthetic voice, backed by an unknown creator, will play the main stage at Coachella. Think a new version of Daft Punk, 2028.
8. THE MARVEL-IZATION OF MUSIC
Major catalog owners churn out music's version of sequels, using AI & their deep catalogs to exploit timeless material for continued profit.
→ Generate new songs
→ Create derivatives
→ And bring dead artists back to “life”
Anything to extend blue-chip material & IP.
Catalog & its reincarnations take increasing priority over new music for the biggest players.
9. THE RISE OF COLLECTIVES
New forms of collectives (partially) fill the role of labels & curators, offering collaboration & resource-sharing while challenging traditional industry hierarchies. They become the artist launchpads, as they have a superpower few will hold — authentic, engaged audiences.
10. A NEW ARTIST SELLS OUT ARENAS WITHOUT RELEASING ANY MUSIC ON TRADITIONAL PLATFORMS
Solely through grassroots, community-centric growth, bypassing conventional platforms entirely. Instead of competing against the noise, they create their own space outside of it.
Community-building becomes the most important skill for artists.
One thing is for certain.
There will be more noise than ever - in music - and from everywhere else.
Trying to reach everyone will be futile.
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