Every decade represents a shift in the music industry. And if there is one thing that 2020 taught us about the future of music in the digital age: nothing is set in stone. So, here we will look at the most common and foreseeable trends for this second half of the year.
— June 25th, 2021
1. Social Media Livestreams
Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and other streaming, social media channels allow millions of people to come together digitally. Advances in social media can significantly affect music consumption, as today’s fans look to connect with musicians on a personal level in addition to a musical one through different platforms. The ability of artists who can do both plays a significant part in their success.
2. Rise of the Indie Artist
As a strategic way to ride the social media wave, independent artists find innovative ways to get in front of larger audiences through various channels. In the age of “going viral,” all it takes is one hit song or signature dance move across trending topics to get people interested.
Once hooked, indie artists can continue sharing music via a YouTube channel, TikTok entertainment, and creative ways that grow their fanbase. It’s a two-part endeavor, getting people to watch and enticing people to stay.
3. Visual Albums and Music Documentaries
Music industry trends that capture an intimate look at the music-making journey with background information and personal insight from the artist will continue.
Well-known artists like Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, and more are also documenting the behind-the-scenes looks of their albums to put more context to their inspiration, process, and production.
4. Algorithm-Based Music Recommendations
For every music app, audio streaming service, and online search we engage with, data is collected. In turn, we constantly receive suggestions or “recommendations” of new artists and songs based on our listening history.
It’s a way to continually feed you fresh content as these sources “predict” what you’ll like.
5. Alternative Revenue Streams for Musicians
It takes creative thinking outside of the box and listening to fans’ feedback to hit the type of content and merchandise they want to receive. Hence, artists are looking for alternative revenue streams such as ‘special albums,’ bonus tracks, VIP access to unseen footage, private virtual concerts, and more.
And while there are many other trends to keep an eye out for, these five are certainly the most prevalent.
This article is a re-post, with minor modifications, of “Music Industry Trends to Look for in 2021,” an article published on victrola.com.