Expert predictions about the future of the music industry are, often as not, incorrect. As recently as 2017, experts predicted the collapse of the music industry because consumers would not pay for subscription music—which has risen to 40% of all music sales. Early in the 1990s, theorists predicted the demise of rap and hip-hop, which have not only grown immensely and become mainstream but even bled over into genres such as country music. Remember when vinyl died? Well, vinyl records are now resurgent, led by ecological friendly ways of making records. Perhaps the most ironic prediction of all came in the early 1960s when rock-and-roll music was said to be on its last legs—just before the Beatles showed up. How can we avoid making incorrect assumptions about the future of music?
John Branca Says to Immerse Yourselves in Music Culture
Speaking to young attorneys who might be interested in becoming music and entertainment lawyers, noted entertainment lawyer John Branca said the most important thing is to immerse yourself in today’s newest music industry trends. Music has always been representative of society. Thus, following Branca’s advice, diving into the current musical culture is tantamount to discovering where culture is headed as a whole. It is intriguing to see some current predictions about the future of music.
Expert Predictions About the Near Future of Music
Where will music take us in the next few years? There are some intriguing predictions:
- Music and politics dance again. From Billy Holiday’s controversial “Strange Fruit” to Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a Changing,” music and social movements have always interacted. Now, hip-hop takes a prophetic turn against injustice.
- Live music and streamed music coexist. As streaming platforms continue to expand, especially with an abundance of new music drops, live performances are returning to full steam as well.
- As music becomes more lucrative, big business shows a renewed interest in it, particularly in consolidating record companies and purchasing catalogs.
Social Media Continues to Sing
For years, YouTube, Facebook and other social media sites were places for aspiring musical artists to debut new songs. More recently, TikTok has taken the internet music scene by storm, causing the prominence of new artists to skyrocket. Keeping up with the music scene going forward will entail keeping up with social media developments too.
Branca’s simple dictum, to serve as a music lawyer you have to keep up with the trending music scene, is an intriguing, major undertaking in itself.