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Insurgents and Incumbents How the 2020s Will Remake the Music Business

Report by Mark Mulligan
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The 20,000 Foot View:  As it enters the third decade of the millennium, the recorded music business is in rude health. Revenues are about to enter the second half of a decade of annual growth, streaming is booming, and investment is pouring in. Simultaneously, the fundamentals of the business are changing, from artist and songwriter careers through music company business models to audience behaviour. However, there is also much that is changing too slowly. The coming decade will underpin a story of old versus new, of insurgents and incumbents. There will be winners and losers on both sides. The factor determining success will be appetite for change.

Key Insights

  • The following            will shape the music business            the 2020s: lean-back listens; fragmented            podcasts; catalogue future; subscriptions slowdown;            markets and culture; content abundance;            fandom; live performer crisis; independent            songwriter income; distribution versus rights;            licensing; weaponisation of fandom
  • These trends            drive even more industry change            the 2020s than streaming did            the 2010s, ushering in the            of the Artist
  • The traditional            of the music industry value            is progressively less useful for            today’s music business
  • Therefore, MIDiA            constructed an alternative view: creation;            and promotion; and distribution
  • The most            development will be the growth            creation, a fast-growing sector that            see increased activity, investment and           
  • Streaming services            increase creator activity, which may            a platform for becoming next-generation            companies rather than starting with           
  • Labels will            to respond or else find            traditional scope squeezed between creation            distribution

Companies and brands mentioned in this report:  Amazon Music, Amuse, Apple Music, BTS, CDbaby, Deezer, Downtown Music Holdings, Ellie Goulding, Facebook, imeem, iTunes, Kobalt, Landr, Last.FM, Level, Loudr, Melboss, Napster, Soundbetter, Soundtrap, Sonalytic, Songtrust, Sony Music, Splice, Spotify, Taylor Swift, Tencent, the Orchard, TikTok, Tunecore, Universal Music Group, Vivendi, Warner Music, YouTube