The music scene has changed tremendously in the past decade. We all know about the rise of Napster and music “sharing”, and eventually the rise of iTunes and the decline of record sales. It’s been a very haphazard few years for the music industry. Online music is now the major leader in all of the music industry, whether it’s audio engineering, music downloads, YouTube music videos, or the more recent online music training, everything now seems to be online.
So what is next to come for the online music scene in the next 5, 10 or 20 years? Well, no one knows for sure but we will try to make a few predictions about how we feel things are going. So bear with us as we try to tell you what online music will be like in 2016 and beyond…
Record Sales will continue to dip
With the exception of some outliers like Taylor Swift, Beyonce or Adele, record sales will essentially be a thing of the past. No one is selling enough records to really become rich like they did in the past. Famously, rapper Troy Ave sold an astounding 30 physical copies of his new CD when it dropped. 30! And he is a rather popular rapper with regular air play on terrestrial radio. This shows you that physical “CDs” are going a way of the DoDo as well. Bringing us to our next point…
Physical Copies of Music Will Disappear
Physical copies of music, like CDs, will essentially disappear. Apple’s new laptops do not even ship with a CD drive anymore, and I can’t personally remember the last time I used a CD drive except maybe for computer diagnostics (and even that is moving over to USB/thumb drives).
Everything is moving online, even things like music education and audio engineering, so this will also be the case with your classic CD’s (they will go the way of the Audio Casette).
One side note to this is the resurgence of vinyl records as being a very popular form of physical music. Our prediction is that vinyl will grow to be the top version of physical music, as CD’s disappear.
Online Music Instruction will Continue to Grow
Our last prediction is that online music instruction, like guitar lessons and piano lessons, will continue to grow and take away market share from in-person instructors. Online guitar lesson websites have grown in popularity, sites like Shredkick are now offering free versions of their lesson plans, with paid versions sharply undercutting in-person instruction.
Another very popular version of online video lessons are Skype lessons, which essentially are in-person music instruction but done over a video-call via Skype or FaceTime (or some other type of video conferencing). This puts further pressure on the class in-person instructors who now need to compete not online with video lessons, but also with other instructors in other countries or states.
Conclusion… Music isn’t going anywhere
No matter how it changes, music and music education aren’t going anywhere. It’s been cheapens and rearranged, but in it’s essence music still attracts way too many people to ever go away. For those in the business, it’s just a means of adapting and overcoming the changes that present themselves.