In the past decade, several industries have been altered significantly by the rise of social media and the internet. Yet, none have been completely flipped upside down, quite like the music industry.
Social media and digital streaming platforms like Soundcloud have effectively changed the culture of the industry, from the way that music is released, to the listening behaviors of consumers.
In recent years, many new styles of music have emerged as well, and even new aesthetics for musicians. For instance, the way that your traditional rap artist dresses today is completely different than how rap artists would dress in the 90’s.
So much has changed in the music industry; and it looks like it’s not ever going back. The days of selling CD’s on the street are very much over. It’s time to adapt to these new developments or get lost in the dust.
Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. Continue reading below to learn about everything new in the music industry in 2021!
CD sales may have dropped dramatically, but surprisingly, the vinyl game is still strong! In recent years, physical vinyl records have seen a bit of a resurgence, largely due to millennial consumers.
In all likelihood, few of these vinyls being sold are actually going to be used in record players, but they’ve become a popular collectible piece recently.
For access to thousands of vinyl records, check out The Sound of Vinyl! They’re one of the premiere names in the vinyl market, offering an unbeatable selection and great prices.
One recent trend in the music industry that has become wildly popular is exorbitant jewelry. Now, rappers have been wearing big, flashy chains since the beginning of time. However, it’s gotten to extreme measures.
Today, it is common to see artists spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a single piece of jewelry.
Almost always, you can expect them to post about it on social media afterward. This growing popularity of jewelry has almost made it a competition among artists to see who can purchase the most outrageous piece.
Just look at Lil Uzi Vert, who recently had a $24 million gem implanted into the center of his forehead.
Men’s hip hop jewelry has even transcended to other genres. Even in R&B and reggaeton, you’ll find artists like J Balvin that own insane jewelry collections.
Jewelry has also become a frequent subject in music lyrics today. Back then, you may have heard the occasional reference or two to a piece of bling. Now, artists are naming the specific diamonds they’re buying in their songs, even shouting out their jewelers on records.
One of the most impactful, recent developments in the music industry is the introduction of streaming. Traditionally, consumers would listen to music through the radio or by purchasing a record.
Recently, that has all changed, with the growth of platforms like Apple Music and Spotify.
These platforms have essentially eliminated the need for consumers to buy music. Now, people simply pay a monthly fee and have access to all the music available in the industry.
This model of consumption has made it easier for artists to release music, as well.
There are countless distributors out there that allow independent musicians to publish music on official streaming platforms. These distributors also charge a relatively low price, which makes releasing music accessible for all.
Since the way that people consume music has changed, it only makes sense that music marketing has also changed.
Some of the conventional marketing methods still exist: billboards, radio promotion, blog placements, etc.
Yet, these strategies are becoming more and more outdated by the year. Today, there is more of an emphasis on social media presence and digital advertising.
As a musician in 2021, you’re expected to post on social media regularly and engage with your fans. Most artists do so every day.
Though there are still some artists who are successful while maintaining a mysterious aura, it’s become the name of the game to show as much of your life as possible online.
In this day and age, you can find a boatload of information about any musician online.
If you’re an established act in 2021, you’re going to have pages up on every major social media platform, a Spotify and Apple Music with extensive music bios, and a website.
Many musicians also run paid advertisements for their content, most notably on Facebook and Google.
There are many different ways for musicians to make money today, but one of the most prominent methods is by selling merchandise.
Consider this: how many times in your life have you seen a person wearing a Rolling Stones t-shirt? Just imagine how many millions of dollars the band has accrued, just from their t-shirt sales.
When you take a look at the way that music itself has changed in recent years, one factor that is glaring is the use of texture.
With so much music coming out nowadays, the boundaries of music have been stretched to its limits. In recent years, the industry has seen thin-sounding, simplistic songs blow up, as well as fully orchestrated masterpieces, full of texture.
Texture is the ambience of a song; it’s the atmosphere created by a piece of music. This musical element contributes greatly to the overall personality and vibe of the track. Some people say that texture is what gives music its emotional charge.
Texture can be added through the instrumental or it can be weaved in through vocals. Just a few subtle notes of a particular instrument or vocal pattern can significantly change the outcome of a song.
If you’re a musician in 2021, you need to familiarize yourself with texture. To dive deeper into this topic, check out this texture in music guide!
Albums have always been regarded in the industry as a litmus test of a musician’s capabilities. If an artist is able to put out a classic album, they’ll have the respect of their peers forever.
To an extent, this sentiment is still true today. However, releasing singles has become the primary strategy among artists.
The attention span of the average consumer is shortening; at least, that’s what music labels seem to believe.
Releasing a single every few months or so allows artists to constantly be on the feeds of their fans. A full project, on the other hand, can take years to complete.
Without a doubt, the priority of musicians in 2021 is to be visible.
In the old days, getting your song played on the radio was the key to blowing up as an artist. Today, the key to gaining steam in this industry is getting placed on playlists.
On platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, users are able to curate playlists of their favorite songs and artists. They’re able to share these playlists and save other people’s playlists that they enjoy.
Getting on these user-curated playlists is very helpful for artists. However, it is even more beneficial to get placed on an editorial playlist, curated by the brand itself.
For instance, Spotify hosts a playlist called, “Fresh Finds,” which contains new songs by independent artists on their platform. They have derivatives of this playlist for different genres as well. It is updated every week.
These playlists are advertised on the front page of Spotify’s app and can provide some serious exposure. More than often, these playlists contain hundreds of thousands of likes from users.