The future looks brilliant for the music industry. Gone are the years of doom and gloom and in are the innovators, the dreamers, the creators and the streamers.
In my job as CEO of Deviate Digital we are at the forefront of new tech and new innovations across the board from marketing tools and ad tech to, AR, VR and industry infrastructure like blockchain. We’re lucky enough to work with all sectors and increasingly the live sector as they realise the importance of data and the connection to the record industry and fans. I’m all about joining the dots. Whether that means coming up with a kick ass marketing plan for an artist or a label or future proofing global promoters, at Deviate we thrive on challenges and innovation.
In 5 years time I suspect our industry will be largely unrecognisable from today. Truth be told, it’ll be unrecognisable in a year. We are already seeing a shift in power from the traditional gatekeepers and that’s going to continue. Artists have more freedom and options than ever before — the majors increasing bids for label and artist services shows that — and beyond that, we’re seeing services themselves increasingly take a role that their predecessors did not. Tech and software plays a huge part in all of these developments, as does hardware. But as we see rights management, licensing and payment procedures shift into new and efficient infrastructures this will change further.
I’m confident intuitive and wearable tech will have a part to play in the music industries future as will new marketing options and utilisation of data in a positive way for both fan and artist. Also AI: we are learning more than every before with smart software and algorithms, hell… we even have software making (worryingly good) music itself already. That will of course present its own set of challenges, but I suspect on the whole it will be a welcomed new addition to the business and our related sectors, like film and gaming.
The biggest wins for the industry I believe are rooted in innovation and the ability to move with the times. For far too long our industry hid from the future and it has catastrophic implications that led to the global decline of the music industry for a decade. Those days are gone, people like me, futurists… are now not only embracing tomorrow but helping to build it. The old guard are slowing leaving and smart, creative and inventive new blood is rising to the top.
There’s a NOFX song called “Dinosaurs Will Die” that was released in 2000… it talks mostly about the death of the majors and when I was a kid starting in music and operating fully DIY (I was in bands, ran venues, set up a label and released a record all before I was 20) it put fire in my belly for invasion and change that has lasted my entire career… I still listen to it often. But removing the connotations of the majors, I kind of feel it applied then, and still applies now top a much broader scale to the industry as a whole. The old industry is dead. Welcome to tomorrow.
Some of us have known for years that the archaic rule books needed burning. They’re been re-written as we speak and the industry changes in a million ways every day, it’s a full time job in itself keeping up with progressions and that’s partly why I started Deviate Digital. That’s what we do every day for our clients, and not just within the music realm, we monitor and analyse all manner of other industry innovation looking for exciting and relevant application to ours. The age of experimentation is here, and I for one can’t wait to see where it takes us.
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