RECESSION PROOF YOUR MUSIC JOURNEY
The music industry has taken some serious hits in the last few years what with the effects of the global lockdown on live venues, just to mention one of many complications.
Now that things are starting to opening up to a point where people were expected to throng to venues wouldn't you know it, by another cruel twist of fate the word RECESSION starts to enter the conversation. The biggest ways that an economic slowdown can hit the industry hard all across the board is by restricting available funds of the music consumer. And we are seeing a new form of restrictions appear. Financial restrictions!
We're facing a whole lot of serious issues up ahead that can once again hit the music industry very very hard. So is the music industry Recession Proof as the old thinking goes? Or are there going to be some problems up ahead in 2023? BOSSmagazine is going to take a wade into the turbulent waters so we can see what is up ahead.
We researched in-depth for this article, checking on some industry leaders opinions like BILLBOARD MAGAZINE. In fact we checked into 11 industry viewpoints to see what they had to say about 2023 music trends and how they predict a recession would affect the industry in the future. Family we have put in the appendix ( at the bottom of the page ) the articles that we researched and are referring to and their links, please feel free to check out.
NOT EVERYTHING IS ALL DOOM AND GLOOM:
First things first family we are not trying to come off as fear mongers but we do want to take an honest look at a few of the trends rising that can affect all of us and our access to the music we love.
Music it's self remains recession proof to some degree, people in history have drowned their sorrows in music and that's not ever going to change. Music has also always been a spiritual upliftment as well and that's not going to change either. So there is always going to be a consumer of music ! The HOW, WHERE and WHY's of getting music to the consumer is what is in perpetual flux. And there in lies the bottom line of survival: to remain FLEXIBLE is key. It always has been !
Flexible are those creators who saw the winds of change ahead of time and worked on building a fanbase while on lockdown via streaming online. They worked on building subscriptions, crowd funding, online instructing, online tips and what ever else they could do to add another income stream or two. Slow steady and focused will win this race.
The slow down does not mean an all out crash though, at least not for subscriptions. Data shows that consumers are going to cut down on going out and on real live events before canceling subscriptions and because they will be going out less they will need more to keep them occupied at home. Streaming subscriptions, music, video, and games may prove to be the affordable luxuries that keep consumers, so it is ever important to build real and true relationships with your listener.
When it comes to music marketing one social media platform has dominated the conversation 2022. The average daily number of videos watched on Tick Tock has surpassed Youtube and up to 70% of users say they discover new artists on that platform. It is predicted that Tick Tock will continue to act as a career Launch pad with short videos.
Remember however MYSPACE and how FACEBOOK took over and for a few years the creators were experiencing a fruitful promoting bonanza? Then things started falling apart and the honeymoon ended! Well family this is a cycle, and knowing what stage of the cycle you are currently in will help you stay afloat in troubled waters.
It is safe to say that TIC-TOC should be fruitful as a promotional tool for a few years but don't get stuck in the cycle! Just as the crowd left MY SPACE for FACEBOOK and now FACEBOOK for TIC TOC keep an ear open for where the tide will flow next and be ready to build ahead of the flood.
NOW LETS TALK ABOUT THE POTENTIAL STORM BREWING AHEAD :
There are some dark clouds brewing on the horizon that we really can't ignore. They are troublesome trends that can threaten to alter or even halt the particular style of music we love. It is even more impactful for the genre we are working to preserve because REGGAE is not just a genre it is a CULTURE, a way of living and thinking as well, that is in real jeopardy.
Here are a few of the industry shifts that have serious consequences for us in particular who are looking to preserve the roots and culture and to a larger degree music as a whole and the freedom to express yourself through it.
A) THE ATTENTION ECONOMY HAS PEAKED:
So while the lockdown and the the RECESSION have kicked the wind out of TOURING as an income stream, there's always the increase in streaming as a potential source right? Yes but it is not the WINDFALL as once thought. The global lockdown allowed for a temporary increase in streaming because it increased available time to stream but once the mandates lifted, all that available time decreased.
In 2020 Americans spent an average of 10 waking hours at home streaming each day but now that the restrictions are lifted and life and bills resume, the average consumer has fewer independent leisure hours available to discovering new artists. That's not to say there is no income to be found in streaming but there is a cautionary note not to put all of your eggs in this basket because it is already showing signs of stress. Slow, steady and focused are good strategies for longterm survival and success.
Today music streaming services are simply not as utilized as they were just a few summers ago. Music stocks plummeted in Spring of 2022 and streaming services like Apple music and Amazon Prime music have witnessed lower volumes of listenership. Spotify's stock is down 54% as exampe. It's also worth noting that they announced plans to reduce hiring as new subscriber counts are growing far slower than expected and they're looking to cut monthly costs.
The economic storm has also triggered layoffs in Netflix, Apple and Spotify (just to name a few.) Spotify in fact said it would be cutting 25% of it's workforce. SoundCloud is also laying off 20% and BMI said it was cutting under 10% of it's workforce.
The Peak attention economy is a huge challenge for music and a big reason music industry has to collaborate even more not only internally but also with others crossing over into other platforms and formats like video and video games. There's a growing crossover between music and gaming!
B) COSTS HAS BECOME THE NEW SWEAR WORD!
There has been this long held idea that the music industry is a Recession Proof and there's going to be big questions coming in the near future whether or not this is true. We covered how fans are willing to invest in a small number of artists if they feel a sense of community however building a fan base and building a community isn't easy because of limited resources like time and money. Creators are feeling the squeeze at both ends ! Traditional streaming platforms show no willingness to become more lucrative for Music Makers either.
The music industry is a non-essential and most likely places below food or shelter on a person's priority list. Though the booming streaming business may provide relief for some AT THE TOP end of the industry, many songwriters and artists are still relying on live businesses for most of their income. However everyone's costs are coming close to out weighing any potential profits: electricity, transportation and availability all become stones in the road. Don't forget that SHIPPING BACKLOG that is compounding the situation. Ultimately this all means fans will end up paying an increased ticket price at a time that they are fighting just to get food on the table.
An Interesting figure that has emerged Amazon is on track to lose 10 billion a year from its worldwide digital team which includes Alexa Echo and it's streaming businesses. Unlikely that the tech majors are going to face difficulties so insurmountable that they will have to think about shutting their streaming services.
They may well have to trim and if that happens, it's video that is far more exposed than music because streaming video requires large investments in original content whereas music rights costs are fixed all that said any music rate deals that are up for negotiations with tech Majors from this point on will almost certainly see the licenses pushing for reductions anywhere they can find them.
What is reccommended to to focus on now to Recession Proof your music career...
is to diversify your income. Many artists were interviewed on the effects of pandemic and the ones who claimed to be hanging on better than most had a common thread between them, they cultivated multiple sources of income. In fact the average number of income sources is four and some reported as many as eight.
It's common for musicians to have jobs outside of music that's one way to diversify but what about within? Some income sources included online teaching, creating a mini course, live stream concerts, pre-recorded concerts for fans, paid fan club, online merchandise sales and bundles.
Build relationships and make them authentic because they will increase your potential to earn an income stream through donations and tips which is now becoming a new trend. Also build relationships with fellow musicians and build relationships that will help expand your skill set.
...the artist and the teams will continue to conquer any challenges with creative and new solutions and good old-fashioned coming together and being flexible ...
We're not done with this discussion yet famiy, stay tuned for installment #2 coming up where we look at the risks of FREEDOM of SPEECH, Fake News , and the scense that some thoughts are going to be censored and where REGGAE stands in the discussion!
1) Economic Shifts In The Music Industry Reflect The Times We Live In
2) What To Focus On Right Now To Recession-Proof Your Music Career
3) Cost of living crisis: The impact on the music industry
4) 7 Predictions for the Music Industry in 2023
5) Has the streaming slowdown arrived?
6) Is Music Really Recession-Proof? Some Sectors Are Showing Signs of Stress
7) Current Musical Trends in 2022
8) 2022 Music Industry Trends and 2023 Predictions
9) What Does the Future Hold? 4 Music Trends & Expert Predictions for 2022 (And Beyond)
10) 7 Music Industry Trends 2022 | Predictions & What Artists Should Expect
11) Viberate's State Of Music report picks key 2022 music industry trends
12) How A Recession Could Affect The Music Industry (In 2022 & Beyond)