The music business is changing faster than ever before in its history. With the rush of technology has come innumerable new ways for musicians to produce music, distribute it, interact with their fans… and hopefully get paid somewhere in there.
And those musicians who can find new ways to innovate are a lot more likely to attract attention.
It’s impossible to predict with accuracy what lies ahead, so instead, let’s look at some areas where innovation is happening. If you can come up with an inventive way of handling any of these issues, you’re going to have a leg up on the competition.
Where Will Innovation Create Opportunity In Music?
1 – Crowdfunding
Fan funding is likely to become more common in the years ahead. Since at least 2001, mid-tier bands have successfully gotten their fans to fund the creation of albums. Given the difficulties in monetizing music after the fact, this is likely to become an increasingly popular strategy.
2 – Personalization
Check out this interesting article about an album where every buyer gets a unique piece of cover art. I feel like their implementation is lackluster and gimmicky, but that does not mean the idea itself is a bad one. Our consumer world is driven by personalization, and there’s no reason albums -especially physical albums- would be exempt.
3 – Collaboration
Why not get fans involved in making materials directly? Trent Reznor of NIN has had a lot of success doing this, such as making a concert video built entirely out of fan-filmed footage. He (and others) have also sponsored numerous remix contests over the years. More cloud-based composition tools will open up new avenues for direct artist/fan collaboration.
4 – Direct Sponsorship
Rather than labels, some bands are turning to brands for funding because many brands are looking for acts that can encapsulate their appeal. Red Bull, for example, has started directly sponsoring bands. This could be a big opportunity to get exposure without label commitments.
So, how are you embracing new innovations in the music business?