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3 Important Independent Music Business Trends


Everyday it seems like there’s a new load of trends you have to keep up with and the unfortunate reality is, there is. With a constantly evolving industry you have to always be on your toes and ready for what’s to come next. Here’s this weeks trends courtesy of music X trend X future.

“Fair Trade Music

A couple of years ago, discussions about how bad piracy is were replaced with the ‘rage against the stream’. People were upset with streaming platforms’ low payouts and growing increasingly impatient for their promises of a better tomorrow. A strange blame game started, obscuring what was really going on, but also bringing attention to issues with the way parts of the industry do their accounting. Where was the money going?

As a consequence, some have started looking for better ways to do things. The most famous example is Benji Roger’s blockchain initiative: he hopes to get the industry to use blockchain technology to create a worldwide transparent database that makes it easier to understand who to pay, how much, and for what. There’s also a public survey underway for it.

Other examples of music service initiatives that aim to provide something more fair and transparent are:

  • Resonate, a cooperative that lets indie artists & labels own the platform

  • The POLR, which believes micropayments can enable more autonomy

  • Whitestone, which aims to reward anyone who contributes value

New formats means new monetization options

Expect early adopters of VR to be an easy to monetize group, because they’re hungry for cool experiences on their new devices. They want you to show them all the things you can do with this medium and they’re happy to pay for it. Freemium models should work well here: give people something good for free and let them pay to upgrade or extend the experience.


Direct-to-Fan Platforms (D2F)

An old theme, but there are some important developments to pay attention to this year, namely: consolidation. Crowdfunding platform PledgeMusic acquired fan engagement platform NoiseTradeand set.fm which makes it easy to sell high quality recordings of live performances.

Meanwhile Fullscreen, a Multi Channel Network (MCN) for YouTube, acquired direct-to-fan platform StageBloc, and rebranded it to Fullscreen Direct. Kickstarter made its first acquisition by taking in Drip, a direct-to-label subscription service on the verge of shutting down.

These acquisitions are meaningful and as product teams merge and collaborate, we’ll see an integration of these tools to become more full suites. This evolution is something many were hoping for when Beats Music acquired Topspin Media.

This time the acquisitions are coming from companies that are already inherently D2F. 2016 is going to be an important year for D2F services.

The Future of the (Indie) Music Business

The future is what you make it.

Design your strategy, plan carefully and support independent platforms and initiatives.”

There you have it, this weeks trends! Stay tuned for more.

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