The pandemic caused just about every industry to change in its wake and the music industry is certainly no exception. Music industry trends will continue to evolve across the board as the world continues to deal with the pandemic and the slow return to normalcy.
The music industry’s current state is much different now, and it bears implications as the market continues to shift with current events.
In general, the music industry of 2021 will likely have some resemblance to that of last year. Artists, companies, and social media will continue finding ways to survive and thrive without relying on live performances and by leveraging the world’s dependence on remote technology for communication and entertainment.
A hit song’s songwriting credits list grew in the last few years—sometimes crediting up to 20 songwriters. To protect themselves from lawsuits, anyone in the room at the time of the song’s creation began getting credit.
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Since the pandemic froze travel and made in-person collaboration more difficult, songwriters took a more traditional approach. With recent hit songs, fewer writers worked on the project, and collaborations are less common. Time will tell if artists will begin collaborating through remote means or not, but for now, songwriter and producer credits remain leaner.
Both small and large venues worldwide continue to close. Though there was a movement in 2020 called Save Our Stages where artists hosted live stream events that fans could donate to, venues continue to face lost leases and increased insurance costs that will be their demise. An estimated 50% of music venues will close by the end of the pandemic.
The excitement for live music remains as music lovers are eager for the return of concerts, raves, and other live performances. This demand will spark new venues to take the place of the ones lost during the pandemic. However, this resurgence will likely not occur until 2022.
Concert Live Streams
The downfall of music venues moved many artists to produce live streams and recorded concerts for fans to enjoy. Technology and production improvements helped artists put on impressive, though expensive, performances with high quality.
Many fans enjoyed supporting their favorite acts, and while these are an effort on the part of the artists, these concert live streams have not replaced the live experience. Until venues open again, artists and fans must make do with the next best thing.
Tiktok reached peak popularity as one of 2020’s most popular music trends. The world turned to Tiktok for hours of bite-sized video entertainment and the ability to discover new music.
Tiktok remains a daily source of entertainment. Though, predictions for the future are that major streaming platforms like Triller introducing their features for short video content and music will eventually dethrone Tiktok. Their market of 13-24 year old users will soon stop relying on it as their source of music and short video content consumption.
By the end of its current contract, CBS will halt the Grammys.
The show’s popularity has dwindled in the last couple of years as ongoing boycotts from female and hip hop artists plague the show’s viewership. People today don’t find the Grammys to be the major music event it once was.
With the loss of its platform, the Grammys will have to return to its roots to survive. People no longer perceive the Grammys as the culturally significant event it was before. The Recording Academy must find a way to reorganize to keep the show relevant to culture and music.
Guitar Center and Music Stores
Even as the premiere store for music gear, recent years have challenged Guitar Center’s survival. The store has beaten bankruptcy and emerged with a smaller inventory, staff, and some developments in their services.
The largest threat to Guitar Center remains online shopping. Like other consumers, musicians would rather get their gear with next-day shipping than have to travel to the store to get it.
Going forward, Guitar Center must continue its innovations and adapt to the demanding online market. Competition is fierce, with companies Amazon, Sweetwater, and Reverb all being online stores that offer gear at low prices and fast shipping. The store’s evolution needs to offer something that can stand with those online platforms, especially as people continue to shop online for everything.
2021 will continue to challenge the music industry as 2020 did. The music business must find ways to adapt to a market that relies on the internet for shopping and entertainment. With talk of vaccines covering the media today, there is hope that 2021 will bring music back to the visceral experience it was before.