The music industry is constantly evolving. With new platforms, technologies, and consumption habits emerging, artists need to stay on top of the latest trends to succeed. Here are my top 10 predictions for changes coming in 2024 that will impact artists and the music business.
1. The Noise Is About to Increase Exponentially
It’s predicted that over 200,000 new songs could be uploaded to Spotify daily in 2024, more than double the current rate of 100,000. This influx means all music platforms are about to get much noisier. With more artists releasing more music, simply making a song and putting it out there is no longer enough. You’ll need a focused release strategy and a detailed plan to cut through the noise. Think of it like a boxing match – you can’t just throw wild punches and hope to win. You need precision and strategy. In 2024, the artists who win will be those who have a game plan for everything from releases to promotion.
2. A Potentially Difficult Year Ahead for Spotify
Spotify faces some challenges in 2024. Many of their major podcasting deals from 2020 are up for renewal, just as the platform struggles to turn a profit. With rising subscription costs and royalty reductions, competitors could seize market share by offering artists better pitching options and more lucrative payouts. Platforms like YouTube, Instagram and TikTok may become more vital for artists needing to stand out from the crowd. Keep an eye on emerging competitors willing to pay artists more for their work.
3. The Content Creation Game Is Changing
In 2024, successful content creation will require more high-quality, narrative-driven videos. As more artists join TikTok and other platforms, basic videos with lyrics and hooks simply won’t grab attention like they once did. Bring Hollywood lighting, vivid color grading, enticing narratives and strong SEO to your content. Think cinematically. Tell compelling stories that seduce viewers to stick around and become fans. Basic videos walking down the street won’t cut it anymore.
4. The Rise of Long-Form Content
After two years of ultra-short videos built for distraction, audiences are experiencing long-form video renaissance. As the cost-of-living rises, consumers are cutting back on cable TV subscriptions and other expenses. They still want great content, just delivered in a longer format that provides true value. For artists, this shift represents an opportunity. Interviews, live concert footage and other long videos that foster meaningful connections with fans will be more vital. Focus on quality over quantity.
5. Touring Is About to Get Much Harder
Rising costs are about make touring much tougher for many artists. Between transportation, accommodation, staffing, production expenses and more, the margins on shows will get even thinner. For artists determined to stay on the road, some ego-checking may be required. Shrink your backing band, rely on some backing tracks instead of live musicians, maximize merch sales and find other ways to cut costs while providing fans the memorable shows they deserve.
6. AI Will Increasingly Impact Music
While fully-AI artists taking over the charts isn’t imminent, AI will increasingly shape music creation and distribution in 2024. For independent artists, AI tools can help mix tracks, generate ideas and handle tedious tasks like uploading content more efficiently than doing everything manually. AI won’t replace human artists, but it will assist them. Embrace AI now rather than playing catch-up later. Find ways to implement AI that saves you time and money so you can focus on creating.
7. The TikTok Music Takeover Is Coming
With new features like Music and Sound Sync, TikTok is aggressively pushing into music streaming, aiming to keep audiences engaged on their platform. Competitor Spotify faces generational challenges, with Gen Z listeners less likely to pay for subscriptions. TikTok is poised to fill that gap by making music discovery effortless and fun. Artists who can optimize their work for TikTok’s hundreds of millions of users, while still maintaining ownership, may find massive new audiences in 2024.
8. Physical Sales Won’t Explode, But Get Creative
Despite perennial predictions of a vinyl and CD sales resurgence, true mainstream physical music dominance is unlikely in the short term. However, creative blending of physical and digital is coming. Imagine selling not just a song, but a unique VR experience that places fans on stage with their favorite band. These digital/physical hybrid products tapping into demand for experiential entertainment could certainly expand in 2024.
9. Collabs Will Be Everywhere
Money is getting tighter, so expect artists to team up as collab tracks provide the most bang for the buck. Big stars will collab with other big stars. Indie artists can reimaginate catalog tracks with genre-spanning features. Savvy smaller artists will also link with brands that make sense for their audience. Cold-email artists you respect and propose collab ideas. This strategy will be everywhere in 2024.
10. Monetization Is About to Get Easier…If You’re Ready
Finally, direct artist-to-fan monetization through platforms like Patreon is set to become easier than ever in 2024. But artists must still lay the entrepreneurial groundwork of building an audience that wants what they’re selling. Understand your fans. Offer them real value. Make your store intuitive and enjoyable. With these fundamentals down, capitalizing on new tech to sell merch, experiences and more will be simple.
The music industry rollercoaster never stops, but armed with the right knowledge and adaptability, artists can thrive in 2024. What other wild predictions do you have for the year ahead? Let me know in the comments!