It’s an understatement to say that the music industry has changed over the past two decades as a result of advances in digital technology. The digital era has forever altered the way we discover, listen, share and market music. As an independent musician, its important to know about these trends and consider how they can affect your career and/or help further your success in the indie music scene.
Here are some changes and trends in the digital scene you should keep your eyes on:
Stream vs. download: There is chatter that downloads will be a thing of the past as streaming services like Spotify, a Swedish music streaming service, rise in popularity.
Spotify was launched in 2008, and now boasts over ten million users across Finland, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. Just last night it was announced that Spotify had secured necessary licenses with major record labels to launch this week in the US.
Spotify will offer a free service supported by advertising that allows new users to listen to their catalog of more than 15 million songs from a computer connection for six months. After that, users will be capped at 10 hours a month and up to five plays for any one song. There will also be two premium tiers that let users listen ad-free on computers and mobile devices.
Cloud storage: As we discussed in a previous post, cloud storage allows users to store files on an online server (a “cloud”), rather than on a hard drive. As a musician and music consumer, this enables you to store more music with less worry about disc space. As this gains in popularity, storage concerns will become less of an issue, creating hope that artists will again package their music with art, lyrics, video outtakes and interactive apps. Oh the possibilities!
Apps: Apps have been a hot topic for quite some time and you likely use many music related apps, like Pandora. But if you have the money and capability, also consider creating a custom app based around your music, just for your fans.
Tell us what you think! Do you follow digital trends? Have changes in the digital scene helped or hindered your career?
Up next: Part three of our Branding series: web design.
The SongCast Crew