April 16, 2019

FastForward Sydney: Key trends in the music industry

FastForward Sydney: Key trends in the music industry

Lead industry thinkers gathered for future-driven music conference FastForward Sydney last week, with day two wrapping up 48 hours of discussion, predictions and networking.

One panel discussed some of the key trends in the music industry from a global perspective.

Founder & CEO Media Insight Consulting Chris Carey moderated the panel that also featured Primephonic’s James Fluerey, Soundcharts’ Julie Knibbe, CD Baby’s Keith Tran and ParadeAll’s Takayuki Suzuki.

These were some of the key trends they identified from their respective countries.

Streaming Services May Differ Between Countries, But DSP Popularity Is Universal

The panel discussed the extent to which DSPs have taken over worldwide. However the most popular differs greatly from market to market.

Suzuki spoke about through the popularity of LineMusic in Japan. “Line is the Japanese Whatssapp,” he explains. It’s a service that “does everything from gaming to financial services.”

When it comes to Northern Europe, 80% of the market uses Spotify, Carey explained.

But the way that Spotify is used in Europe differs to Australia for instance, and Knibbe said; “We shouldn’t just assume that everyone wants to pay for streaming services.”

The rise of streaming services has also opened the gateway for local acts to record in their own language.

For so long Dutch rappers were rapping in English,” explained Carey.

“Streaming has enabled people to take a lower risk on listening, and for artists to be more of themselves.”

Most panellists agreed that radio is still seen as a key way for music discovery to take place, especially when it comes to the youth market.

Live Music Is A Vital Pillar Of The Music Economy

“People still crave real experiences,” said Knibbe. “The biggest trend is about living more experiences rather than owning stuff.”

Tran agreed, highlighting the importance of live revenue. “Live is still one of the quickest and most upfront sources of revenue.”

Live is also expanding into different formats, with new ways to see and experience music.

Suzuki outlined the rise of virtual YouTubers in Japan who are “recording their own music and their music is hitting #1 on the Japanese iTunes charts.”

Some “virtual artists sell more tickets than a real human band,” added Tran.

Vinyl’s Resurgence Is Here To Stay

The panel agreed that the rise of vinyl is much more than a fleeting trend, and that the visual element of vinyl is underrated.

“You can endorse who you are by showing what’s on your bookshelf,” said Carey.

“Books tell you who you want to be, music shows who you are.”

Knibbe pointed out that people still desire ownership in an age where they don’t actually own the streams they can access on DSPs.

As a result, “People still want to collect.”

“People have gone from physical to digital for convenience, but they are still collecting. Vinyl is people craving the physical experience.”