The direction of the music industry has been a topic of discussion for many years now since the development of digital technology. However, recent successes and continuous innovative artistry have easily brought the question of whether the future of the music industry is really that scary.
UK Music published its annual ‘Measuring Music’ report which showed that the music industry generated £4.1 billion for the British economy in 2014, relatively similar to what other artists have done for economies around the world. This was shown to have grown by 5% compared to the previous year, proving that the industry was and is in a good place despite the recent challenges in new technology and copyright reforms.
The live music industry is a huge example of development through the sectors, with 26.7 million people attending UK events in the last year. And despite recent assumptions that music publishers and labels aren’t interested in the growth of new and upcoming artists, they still invested £0.5 billion in this ambitious industry in 2014.
What’s to come
With all this activity taking part it’s easy to ask the question of what’s to come and how we can support this direction. Accessing music has changed over the years from physical retailing, to digital downloading and now to streaming. Universal was the first to admit that its streaming income had overtaken digital downloads for the first time this year. The benefits to streaming include how easy it is to distribute it globally. Major labels are no longer the gatekeepers of distribution since artists are relying less on them to provide physical copies of their work, work they can easily distribute themselves through streaming. With all this in mind for the future of the music industry to remain thriving and not seem as daunting it must involve two things, investment and protection. Revenues will continue to rise within the streaming sector so it’s important for us to all willingly do what we can to protect artists and right-holders. Examples of companies that are paving the way in this area include our partner PRS for Music’s venture ‘Stream Fair’ who are aiming to secure a fair and prosperous future for artists and musicians streaming their music through online distribution companies. Another example is UK Music’s #LetItBeeb campaign, which you can read more about here.
To summarise, the future of the music industry isn’t that daunting. Taking the time out to research, contribute and be aware of our individual responsibilities that come with investing in the music industry is important. It’s not only about investing in technology but in people also and what they have to offer.
At Music Gateway it’s the investment of the members who make collaborating an exciting place to be.