Reports Music

Creator hubs Creator tools’ next growth driver

Report by Mark Mulligan and Kriss Thakrar
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The 20,000 foot view: The emerging competitive dynamic between insurgents and incumbents is the catalyst for an unprecedented period of innovation in the music creator tools space. However, because this dynamic is underpinned by substantial institutional investment and strong market growth, the second order effect is the further fragmentation of an already congested and oversupplied marketplace. This stands in stark contrast to new music creators’ demand for simplicity and speed. These are the market conditions that are giving rise to a new breed of creator tools platforms: creator hubs. These hubs aim to pull as much of the creative workflow into one place as possible and, in turn, exercise unrivalled influence over the wider marketplace. 

Key insights: 

  • The music creator tools sector was worth        billion in 2020 - up        from 2019, with        of that revenue from digital
  • Creator hubs (destinations that provide suites of tools which cater for multiple parts of the creative workflow) will reshape the marketplace and will power new modes of creativity
  • Many creator hubs will drive the growth of alternatives to DAW based music workflows, while some hubs will ultimately work towards building their own DAW
  • Creator hubs will build out from narrow starting points to fully fledged propositions through a successive series of partner-buy-build phases
  • Two key hub models will emerge: market aggregators and contained ecosystems. Both approaches will see hubs become increasingly powerful as marketplace curators, similar to the roles of mobile app stores
  • Landr, Spotify, Universal Audio, Loopcloud and Splice are five key examples of current creator hubs, while Francisco Partner’s investments in Native Instruments and iZotope could be the basis for a further one

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Ableton Live, Arturia, Auxy, Cubase, FL Studio, GarageBand, IK Multimedia, iZotope, Landr, Logic Pro, Loopcloud, Native Instruments, Pro Tools, Soundbetter, Soundtrap, Splice, Spotify, Universal Audio

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