The days before, I read some interesting numbers on revenues from synchronisation. It is on the rise. Now set these numbers in relation to streaming. It tells a lot about music distribution.
Actually, for some time now I am wondering what the next music distribution technology might be. Or what it may look like. There have been music cylinders, phonographs, vinyl, tapes, CDs, and of course downloads and streaming.
Do artists want to be swept away by future’s next surprise in music distribution?
What’s next? Shouldn’t we think about that? Right now, artists are still fighting for their payment in streaming. While they do, the next Tsunami might be on the rise somewhere out on sea. It is quite likely it is happening right now because the innovation cycles are becoming shorter and shorter.
Should we expect a cacophony and anarchy of all retro technologies being re-purposed endlessly? I don’t think so. Everything finds its niche, yes. However, it is a niche still.
#1 Synchronisation is on the rise.
We are living with all sorts of brands. Music and pictures are the perfect ground to nourish a brand’s image – and its success. Brands are shelling out money so that they are sure the listener is doing what he or she is supposed to: listening, watching, buying.
#2 The cost of technology is falling.
No matter which technology you are looking at, there comes a time when it reaches a price tag everyone can afford. It’s not only the innovation cycle that accelerates. The same is true for the decrease of cost.
What does that tell about streaming? Well, artists will be the new streaming providers.
Huh? Give me a few more seconds.
More than ever, the soundtrack of our multi-screen lives is going to be filled by brands.
- Brands as in Coca Cola, Nike, Apple.
- Brands as in Justin Bieber, Metallica, Drake.
- Brands as in GTA, WoW, Call of Duty.
- Brands as in vegetarian food, all things pink, cocktail trends.
- Brands as in health, joy, grieve.
- Brands as in whatever your likes and dislikes are.
Anything can be a brand. Anything can be predicted or, by manipulation, it can be sort of dictated. Agencies are setting the trends some two years in advance. Btw, this is already business as usual.
This music is going to be just there. Everywhere. This is music for the masses. It finds you.
Individual streaming: A technology dedicated to artists.
Within the next five years you are also going to see a technology on the rise that is dedicated to artists. Instead of selling downloads on their site they will sell individual streams. Artist radios like those you can find at Spotify or AppleMusic. These are highly specialised streams for the music afici0nados, as labeled by Mark Mulligan.
Think of Periscope, Twitch, and Meerkat. Now, imagine a reincarnation of these that is more artist-friendly.
This music is going to be just there as well. Everywhere as well. But it is music for individuals. It has to be identified and found. By you, personally.
Lost in music.
Imagine that music for masses is pouring down on you. At the same time, myriads of streaming beams from every independent artist in the world are surrounding you. That’s quite a load to choose from.
That’s why the music industry is going to change again.
Music distribution won’t be where the money is. Because nothing needs to be distributed anymore. It is already here. Selling the basic tech bundles to corporations or artists does not pay the rent for the handful of tech giants either.
The music industry’s challenge is to sell the path. Or at least, the promise how to find the path. It is the path for corporations to attract customers. The music industry is about to provide the recipe for the honey. It will provide the tools which are in demand to target the specific group of customers. Pure filet. No fat, no bones. It’s the finest flesh for revenue fantasies.
For independent music, and for the listener himself the beef is in channeling. It is like going for fishing while at the same moment you are surfing on your board. You are riding the ocean of sounds but technology allows you to successfully pick up whatever your interest is. As Ian Rogers once explained, this interest feed is much different from what you can get today.
The next technology is about matching interests.
Distribution dwindles down to being a hobby for collectors.
Music distribution is dead. The music is everywhere.