Over the past few decades, the music industry has continuously embraced forward-thinking technological advancements. Following the rise of digitalisation, the market has changed drastically, with revolutionary concepts driving music into a new era. Few can argue that album and single consumption isn’t more user-friendly than ever before. In turn, this has created the platform for up-and-coming musicians to reach broader audiences. So, let’s take a look at how digitalisation has altered the music industry.
The Emergence of Streaming Platforms
When evaluating the music sector within the 21st century, it’s impossible to overlook the impact of streaming services. Although some are opposed to the subscription-based services, including Apple Music and Spotify, these platforms have undoubtedly enhanced listener engagement within the market. According to TheVerge.com, in April 2019, Spotify became the first digital music service to register 100 million paying users. In addition, a 32 per cent growth rate has been reported year-on-year.
While, of course, traditionalists will continue to favour physical copies of newly released albums, the transition to streaming services is there for all to see. Figures from TechCrunch.com state that streaming services accounted for 79.5 per cent of the music industry’s total revenue in 2019. In many ways, this digital shift indicates a change in listener trends, with more people now striving for quantity over quality. There’s an argument that streaming-orientated songs are compressed to a lower quality than hard-copy alternatives. Despite that, the above revenue figures showcase that this hasn’t negatively impacted the market. Fundamentally, the reason for this concerns accessibility. Platforms like Apple Music and Spotify provide on-demand and on-the-move access to an array of artists, genres, and songs.
Variation is at the Heart of the Industry
As touched on above, listener engagement habits have significantly changed since the turn of the millennium. Regarding genre, variation has long been a staple of the industry. However, as technology has advanced, new-found consumer-focused offerings have added greater depth to the sector. Primarily, the vast number of streaming services showcase that companies are now targeting variation from an engagement standpoint. Aside from Apple Music and Spotify, the market also consists of Amazon Music, Soundcloud, YouTube Music, and many more. While it's unclear if the existing volume of streaming services are sustainable, there can be no doubt that they're providing listeners with much-coveted options.
Not only that, but music has enjoyed a similar transformation concerning online reviews. At the time of writing, listeners can go online and peruse a handful of discussions for a desired album or song. For example, Metacritic is popular because of its METASCORE system. Similarly, there are review sites for other forms of entertainment too. Rotten Tomatoes is a well-known name in movie reviews, although there are some that believe it isn't completely unbiased. However, there are also blogs that are dedicated to reviewing movies including CinemaBlend and ScreenCrush if the reader would prefer something more independent.
Aside from big-screen entertainment, review sites have also become a focal point of the gaming sector. Consumer demands for informative feedback across newly-released developments have been the catalyst for the emergence of sites like GamesRadar+ and Destructoid. Aside from reviews, the platform also features helpful guides across various titles and comparative articles, which can be found through on-site filters.
Reviews have become so important to this industry that they play a major role in all forms of entertainment, including the gambling sector. Taking it a step beyond reviews are online casino comparison sites. For example, you can try Bonus.net.nz for a comprehensive guide to the latest operator bonuses. Given the populated nature of the industry, this sort of website highlights an array of top-rated casinos, such as Neon Vegas, Skycity, and Wildz Casino, as well as offering customer reviews. Interestingly, the written reviews take into consideration minor details, like the specific terms of bonus promotions.
Similarly to GamesRadar+, BonusFinder embraces a filter-driven approach to their review-orientated site. As such, prospective bettors can limit their searches via available promotions, including maximum bonuses and minimum deposits.
Set for An Era of Dominance?
Ultimately, it’s impossible to predict what’s around the corner. As such, it’s unclear as to what the next listener-focused breakthrough will be in the music industry. That said, given the current dominance of streaming platforms, it looks likely that a digitalised approach will continue to spearhead the music industry’s growth throughout the next decade.