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Bifurcation theory How today’s music business will become two

Report by Mark Mulligan and Tatiana Cirisano
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20,000 foot view: The music business is bifurcating, with streaming emerging as the place for mainstream music and lean-back consumption, and social as the spiritual home of fandom and the creator economy. In this report we will explore how today’s music business challenges are setting in motion a new, bifurcated business. But rather than simply describe the lay of the future land, we also present bold visions of how we think both sides of the music business equation should evolve. This is bifurcation theory.

Key data and insights included in this report: 

  • What challenges is the current music industry facing?
  • How this will lead to a bifurcated, post-streaming music industry?
  • How consumers discover new music and subsequent consumer behaviours around discovering new music
  • Analysis of differences in music discovery behaviours by age
  • Recommendations on creating both lean in, fan-centred, and lean back, simplified music experiences

All survey data is based on MIDiA Research Q4 2023 consumer survey fielded in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Sweden, South Korea, and Brazil. Data includes breakdowns by age, gender, income, music genre, and music listening habits.

Table of contents:

  • Number of words: 7570
  • Number of pages: 31
  • Number of infographics: 7

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Abbey Road Red, AOL, Ariana Grande, Audiomack, Audiomod, Bandlab, BandLab Songstarter, Beatstars, Charanga, Cyanite, Discord, eBay, Emma McGann, Endel, Facebook, Fave, FL Cloud, Geocities, Instagram, iZotope Neutron, MSN, MySpace, mxmtoon, Napster, Peter Gabriel, Reddit, Royalty Cloud, Skype, Sony Music Publishing, Soundcloud, Spotify, StoryChief, Studio, SZA, TikTok, Twitch, UMG, Voice-Swap, VoxFeed, WeVerse, Yahoo, YouTube, and YouTube Dream Screen

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