Analysts are looking at shifts in the music industry with increased concern. The current digital music trends point in exactly one direction: more streaming, and less buying. Both physical album sales AND direct digital downloads are on the decline, while streaming services like Spotify and Beats Music are growing by leaps and bounds.
The problem here is simply this: those services aren’t making much money, and their artists make even less. However, the public demand for streaming music is unlikely to go away, and it’s going to be up to artists to find new revenue sources.
Digital Music Trends: Making Money In A Steaming Music Era
1 – More Live Music
Streaming is ubiquitous. Live acts are not. While we’re expecting crossovers to happen soon, such as exclusive live streaming shows, your bread and butter will be your real-life live gigs. Scarcity drives pricing, and live acts will always be more scarce than digital music.
If you aren’t constantly looking to improve your live show and get better bookings, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage.
2 – More Pre-Funding
Bands have been “kickstarting” albums via crowdfunding since the millennium. British proggers Marillion have crowdfunded ALL their albums for more than a decade. If you have a fanbase that’s even in the thousands, this is probably an option you should look to explore.
The true fans understand you need money to make music. They’ll be willing to help out if you make the proposition a good one.
3 – More Bundling
The “bundle” exploded into the gaming scene a couple years ago by offering a combination of multiple titles and pay-what-you-want pricing. Since then, bundles have gained traction in virtually all forms of media, including music and even comic books.
Getting your tracks into a bundle will bring some profits, as well as the potential of wider exposure.
4 – Gimmicks
More or less anything you can do to make your releases stand out will be worth considering. Whether it’s physical freebies or digital downloads or even turning your album into an instrument, get creative.
What ideas have you come up with for finding profit in streaming?