Sonicbids Announces 2007 Music Industry Trends to Watch

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Highlights six top trends to happen within the music industry, from the way that independent artists promote themselves, to how people will buy and obtain music.

From consolidation in the major record label business, to increasing consumer demand for original music, continued, dramatic shifts in the music industry will give independent musicians unprecedented access to global opportunities, according to Panos Panay, founder and CEO of Boston-based Sonicbids (http://www.sonicbids.com), the leading online music submission service that makes it easy for musicians and promoters to connect with each other worldwide.

According to Panay, there are six major industry trends and movements to watch in 2007:

1. Consumer demand for original musical content will continue to rise.

Customer demand will substantially empower the independent musician community and drive up the values of two types of companies: (a) music discovery companies that encourage consumers to connect with music that's relevant to them; and (b) music submission services that help connect content creators with content buyers.

2. Entities other than record labels, terrestrial radio, and MTV will take the lead in "breaking" new artists.

An increasing number of video-gaming companies, mobile phone carriers, cable-companies, TV shows and other consumer brands will use independent music as a way to promote products, by arranging marketing deals with independent artists in exchange for a stake in future revenue streams. Essentially, these entities will assume the role of the labels in breaking new talent without participating in production or distribution costs. They'll also be detached from the concept of having a "hit" artist.

3. "Traditional" music retailing will fade.

In 2007, there will be many more record shop closings and bankruptcies, with nearly all stand-alone physical album retailers out of the record business altogether by 2010. Physical albums -- while still around -- will be sold through big-box retailers to an older demographic who grew up listening to LPs, cassette tapes and CDs.

4. The "manufactured" pop star era will end.

Dating back to the days of Frank Sinatra and Elvis, the concept of "superstardom" was sold primarily to teenagers. Going forward, more bands will be discovered in an entirely organic, viral and cost-effective fashion through the Web. Many more bands will make a living by selling tens of thousands of units rather than millions.

5. Music consumption -- recorded, live, or otherwise -- will be more niche- and audience-specific.

There will not be a single record in 2007 that sells more than 1 million units in its first week of release, unlike the 90s and early 00s when superstars like "Britney," " 'N Sync" and others routinely sold these many units with each release. On the other end of that spectrum, non-traditional music consumption will become even more prevalent as refined technology gives broader access to music, i.e., from cell phones, cars, computers, iPods™, etc.

6. The move to digital will accelerate the demise of the CD.

As was true in the change from vinyl, to cassette to CD, 2007 will usher in further mass acceptance of the digital download. This said, major record companies who depend on physical CD sales will re-align their marketing strategies to target Baby Boomers who aren't comfortable with products such as iPods™ and still buy CDs from ever-dwindling big box retailers. In order to stay afloat with a smaller target audience, major record labels will essentially become catalogue-exploitation businesses (reviving past albums), rather than generating new hit records.

About Sonicbids:

Sonicbids was launched in 2001 on a simple idea: that it should be super-easy for artists and music promoters to connect with each other online, without sending bulky press kits through the postal mail. Since then, Sonicbids has become the fastest-growing online music submission service, trusted by over 90,000 artists and over 7,000 festivals, music conferences, and clubs from over 100 countries. The company's main product is the Sonicbids EPK™ (Electronic Press Kit), an easy-to-use, Web-based graphic interface that contains all the basic information of a physical press kit such as music, photos, bios, date calendar and set list. The Sonicbids EPK™ can be e-mailed to anyone with a click of a mouse and submitted to online promoter accounts through a virtual "Promoter Drop Box." Sonicbids, located in a funky art space in Boston's South End, currently partners with prominent events and festivals such as MIDEM, CMJ, Summerfest, North By Northeast, Virgin College Mega Tour, NEMO, Canadian Music Week, Folk Alliance, Bumbershoot, and the Billboard Song Contest. In 2005 Sonicbids' founder, Panos Panay, was named one of the "Fast 50 Entrepreneurs" by 'Fast Company' magazine. http://www.sonicbids.com

CONTACT:

Joanne Morrison

MD&C

203/624-4151, ext. 30

Jennifer D'Angora

Sonicbids

617/275-7222

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Joanne Morrison
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