What 2019 Holds for the Music Industry 

Written by on 24 March, 2019

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What 2019 Holds for the Music Industry 

Since entering the digital age, the global music industry was turned on its head. From the advent of file-sharing to the decline of analog, music has evolved and taken new forms over the years. Technology is undoubtedly a significant catalyst to crafting new and richer music experiences, and it looks like it will only go forward from here. 

Here are a few predictions of what 2019 will bring for artists, producers, and listeners alike. 

An enhanced live music experience

Gone are the days when a live set-up was limited to traditional sound and visual effects. Nowadays, music fans have more ways to connect with their favorite artists. 

London-based start-up Peex and Elton John, for instance, have partnered to make innovative earbuds that allow concert goers to remix a live gig while it’s still going on. It even lets them synchronize and augment their audio experience, so they can enjoy high-quality sound anywhere in the venue. What this means is you can get your money’s worth with a crystal-clear auditory experience, whether you’re ten or fifty rows away from the stage.


On the other hand, the use of video tech has also become more prevalent. Holograms in shows aren’t exactly new, with the first uses dating back to 2006, but they’re slowly becoming more common — from Tupac Shakur’s hologram cameo at the 2012 Coachella festival, to the upcoming Abba 2019 digital show. This reveals how far we’ve come in providing authenticity and audience engagement, giving younger generations a chance to experience bygone artists like never before.

Tupac Shakur hologram at Coachella 2012

The norm of Virtual Reality

It’s always a challenge for artists to make their work stand out, but technology now gives them opportunities to expand their creativity. That said, Virtual Reality is playing a major role in the current music space with the emergence of 360-degree music videos and Augmented Reality campaigns forging immersive experiences for fans and opening doors for endless possibilities. Gorillaz, Mac DeMarco, and Muse are just some of the many artists who have started adopting this technology to innovate their music videos.

Gorillaz – Saturnz Barz (Spirit House) music video in 360

The changing image of a global superstar

In the past, the only way to break out as an international superstar required backing from major labels and having millions in investments. The only other option meant taking your shot at becoming a talent show star, by joining the likes of X-Factor’s Little Mix or American Idol’s Kelly Clarkson. While this is the heart-warming narrative of a “small-town-singer-turned-global-superstar,” success with either formula is a rarity that remains inaccessible to almost everyone. 

However, with today’s high-speed internet and social media culture, virtually anyone can achieve their dreams of becoming a viral celebrity. In fact, some of today’s biggest stars like Justin Bieber and The Weeknd boast self-made stories of being discovered online through obscure YouTube videos. This evens out the playing field for grassroots artists to emerge more easily, or at least be able to make money off their craft.

Blockchain revolutionizing the music business

Thanks to social media, crowdfunding, and community building, the careers of many musicians have been bolstered, but it’s blockchain that will reshape the landscape of the business side of music. 

Bryan Calhoun, head of Digital Strategy at Blueprint Group, which represents top talent like Nikki Minaj and Grammy-award winning The Roots, explained to Forbes that the two biggest opportunities of blockchain lie in rights management and ticketing, mainly due to its revolutionary decentralized infrastructure. “Both are going to take time to get done correctly, but companies like Dot BC, Tari and Big Neon, respectively, are leading the way with exciting projects that have traction,” he remarked.

Even artists like Imogen Heap have already began leveraging blockchain, with upcoming project Mycelia, which aims to provide artists with the tools to manage their own careers.

Imogen Heap: Mycelia’s Creative Passport and reimagining the music industry

The democratization of content creation

With the convenience of smartphones, content creation has become more organic. Instead of expensive equipment, some brands have traded it all for the natural perspective of a phone camera. Again, it’s all thanks to social media that fans get to share content and their experiences. In a matter of seconds, anyone can record and upload their favorite artist’s live show. This accessibility has sparked the curiosity and careers of countless budding professional creators, and companies have taken notice. 

Ultra Worldwide, for example, is tapping into this opportunity to raise the next generation of creatives with their upcoming Winter Music Conference 2019. For the first time, it is taking a fresh approach to the typically industry-focused event with an “Access” segment geared towards curious music consumers who want to learn more about the industry. That said, we can expect to see more content creation tools and opportunities that will assist in setting a precedent to how fans create content.

Winter Music Conference 2019

This March, an icon is reborn…

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Contributed by Alexandria Cora

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