With a new year to look forward to inevitably comes predictions for that year, and music industry professionals are not missing the chance to weigh in. From Forbes to 50 Cent, many big names have already weighed in on what they think (or at least hope) will happen in 2015. Here are some common themes:
Digital services will merge, and big brands will prevail.
The world of online music services has so far been an open market, with countless startups cropping up to compete for a slice of the pie. However, in 2015, it’s likely that some of these will consolidate or be bought out as the biggest names (Apple, YouTube, Amazon, Google) become even bigger. While many have voiced grave predictions about the quality of services like AppleStream or YouTube’s Music Key, that may not even matter as people choose convenience (the platforms offer built-in access to your digital stores) over all else.
Spotify will announce big changes.
There’s already been a bit of buzz around Spotify’s impending IPO, and the changes that typically stem from the public market’s demands. We may see the window for free ad-based streaming shrink, or similar alterations to the company’s offerings. These changes could be good news for artists, as Spotify feels compelled to make (and pass on) more of a profit. Speaking of profit, however: A successful IPO will make all of the company’s early investors and employees a lot of many – which could spur a backlash from artists who have long felt cheated by Spotify’s free streaming service. Time will tell but either way, the company is likely to make major headlines this year.
The RESPECT Act will be reintroduced in Congress.
Here’s a big one for our more mature songwriters and artists. Currently, audio recordings made before 1972 are not covered under federal copyright law – and are therefore not subject to receiving royalty payments. According to HypeBot.com, “The RESPECT Act would mend this issue and enable all digital performances of songs – regardless of the year they were recorded – to become eligible for royalties.”
The RIAA will change its platinum album formula to account for streaming.
Despite the modern shift from downloading to streaming, the RIAA has yet to alter its formula for platinum. This is how an artist like Ed Sheeran can be the most-streamed artist of the year on Spotify but only have his album be certified gold. Predictions have been made that 2015 will be the year that the RIAA makes some (arguably necessary) changes to its formula, thus remedying the situation and properly awarding artists.
Regardless of whether you subscribe to the above predictions, one thing’s for sure: 2015 is bound to be an exciting and innovative year for music. For HillTop it will be the year we launch our new Members Online Services, coming within the next 30 days. Follow along with us here at HillTop Records as we continue to keep you updated on the latest news from the American music industry.