The Future of the Future

Future of Future

20 August 2010 The Music Network/Australia

What role will record companies serve?

Max Hole The core business of a record company will be the same in 2015 as it is now and has been forever. Our job is to sign and develop talent. We are a haven, both financially and creatively that helps build and sustain the stars of tomorrow. Without the investment and specialist knowledge that we provide, it is very difficult for artists to cut through the noise.

Ariel Hyatt Record companies will still be taking risks on artists and playing the odds just as they always have, but they may be a bit more calculated in the future. I think that the 360-degree deals are still in their infancy. That space has only just begun. Record labels will become more and more involved in every facet of an artist’s career – taking a piece of all profitable areas as record sales fall more by the wayside in the order of importance for earning money from music. Record companies will still exist and they will still be important for artists who want to gain mass-market exposure. However, what they’re doing now and what will be happening in the future will look different.

Harvey Goldsmith Record companies will still be an important force for artists. At the end of the day, an artist will still need a company to distribute their product in some form or other. Equally the artist will still need funds to survive and thrive. A record company is an amalgam of A&R, marketing, distribution, PR and a developer of extraneous activity that an artist needs for success.

Steve Schnur The way the modern consumer hears, buys, shares and stores music has changed forever. Record companies must now do the same. Their old business model is dead. Our new digital media has created a whole new world of opportunity, and reliance on simple record sales will become increasingly secondary to revenues generated by such streams as synch fees and publishing.

Martin Mills I suspect they’ll be very much the same as today, although in 2015 they may not all be called “record companies”. Despite what they naysayers might reckon, artists will always need parties to invest in and propagate their music.
Who will be the majors industry power brokers

Max Hole Five years goes very quickly and therefore, globally speaking, it will be much the same as now – Universal Music, Sony Music, Live Nation, AEG, i-Tunes, Spotify.

Ariel Hyatt I’m willing to place my bet on managers. Well-directed managers who are on-point, are leading artists into the new music business with innovative ideas for licensing, branding, cooperating with advertising agencies, and making lucrative and interesting partnerships with brands. A good manager will help artists strategize how to actually make money.

Harvey Goldsmith Probably 360-degree companies who offer partnerships to an artist rather than control. These will include media companies, large live promotion companies, some record companies. And private investment vehicles specialising in developing artist careers.

Steve Schnur The major power brokers will be those who understand and build new business models around a global digital future. The “record business” may be dead, but the music industry is approaching the most creative and financially exciting period in our history.

Martin Mills There will be no lions in the jungle. It will be a much flatter and more mixed landscape in five years from now.

Will radio still have an impact?

Max Hole I believe it will, as many consumers will still desire services where music is chosen for them, without them having to do the research.

Ariel Hyatt Unfortunately the answer is yes. As long as there is radio, it will still have an impact, as it will still be widely available and free to the masses. Radio will probably continue to be harder and harder to get play on, but it will still have an impact.

Harvey Goldsmith Radio will always have an impact for music. However, listening to radio will not be in its current form. Radio is still the most popular way for music to be heard. Subscription radio will have advanced and will probably dominate by 2015.

Steve Schnur
As long as there are kids and cars, radio will always have an impact. But strict formatting and rigid corporate playlists can diminish radio’s influence. My hope is that independent stations will survive and continue to take the risks that make the difference.

Martin Mills
Yes, but decreasingly so. With technology comes the ability to message fans and tap into new channels of music discovery.

How will consumers acquire music?

Max Hole Deluxe physical goods available at shrinking retail, but also in a growing direct-to-consumer business. Digitally, by a declining a la carte business, but mainly from rapidly growing subscription models to all forms of mobile and fixed devices. We will have to get used to consumers wanting quick and easy access, rather than ownership.

Ariel Hyatt
In the cloud. Plucking content out of a cloud and putting them onto whatever device is easy and convenient will be the way that consumers will get whatever it is they want – not only music, but also movies and books.

Harvey Goldsmith Via mobiles and the Internet. Mobiles are fast becoming more important via apps as the Internet is already too cluttered. Consumers will decide which apps they like and stick to them.

Steve Schnur
iTunes is here to stay. Subscription networks are on the rise. We are already nearly one half a generation into a world where downloads are the norm. And I continue to love the irony of an industry that has moved forward by going back to selling singles.

Martin Mills In all the current, traditional ways, and many more which have yet to be discovered. “(Music) will sound like everything. And as always, today’s alternative will be tomorrow’s mainstream”

And a wild one… what will music sound like?

Max Hole
We will figure that out nearer the time. I suspect at some point there will be a movement back towards music as art, rather than music as commodity, but we will have to wait and see. If I knew the answer now, I’d bring the music out next year.

Ariel Hyatt
Of course, music will continue to innovate, delight, and inspire, that much I do know.

Harvey Goldsmith It’s hard to tell. You can never disregard a great song. A great song will always win the day.

Steve Schnur About the only thing that none of us can – or should try to – predict is what music will sound like in 2015. All we can hope for is that there are at least a few new songs and artists that make the world go “wow!” In any year, it all comes down to the music.

Martin Mills
It will sound like everything. And as always, today’s alternative will be tomorrow’s mainstream.

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One Response to “The Future of the Future”

  1. Alan Goldsmith Says:

    Lol. Most of these folks really sound clueless. Wondering what predictions they had five years ago?

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