December 20, 2023
At Startle, we’re pretty keen on music. You wouldn’t have guessed, right?
So, as part of our annual That’s A Wrap reports, we like to ask our music team to predict what industry trends they think we’ll see in the following year. This year was no different.
Our 2023 predictions
First, it only seems right to take a look back at our predictions from last year and see how many we got right (or at least close).
We obviously don’t have a crystal ball, but here’s a couple of our predictions definitely unfolded this year…
This isn’t a surprising one, but we’ve continued to see the success of multilingual music in 2023 for sure. According to Luminate, Latin Music Revenue hit $627 million in the first half of 2023, and Spanish is now the second most listened-to language in the US.
The fact that Bad Bunny is featured in the top 3 artists of our 2023 as well as our 2022 one shows that non-English performing artists are continuing to achieve huge commercial success - according to 2021 data from Spotify, this trend has been accelerating since 2017.
The growing success of this type of music is exciting and we can't wait to see even more non-English speaking music achieve mainstream success in 2024.
Stricter ticket selling
Ticket scalpers have always been a huge issue, and don’t look like they’re going away anytime soon. However, we have seen some artists and companies taking more steps this year to make the ticket buying process more fair.
Take The Eras Tour for example. When Taylor Swift announced her European leg of the tour, fans had limited time to sign up to a waiting list, following a turbulent sale process in the US. Then, a group of people from that waiting list were randomly selected, receiving a link to have the chance to purchase tickets. So, many fans didn’t even get an opportunity to even try.
This new process isn’t just exclusive to Swift - Olivia Rodrigo fans were asked to register for the chance to purchase tickets for her Guts world tour. Although registering doesn’t guarantee tickets with such high demand, it’s the only way to be randomly selected to get access to the same, whereas others will be put on a waitlist.
This new process is likely because the demand for tickets has increased, so it’s a way to manage this, but also to limit the amount of scalpers and bots who are able to get through the various hurdles to purchase them. We’re glad that artists are starting to make a real stand so their real fans can experience their live shows with less of a risk of paying 10x face value prices.
Our 2024 predictions
That’s enough looking back, it’s time to look forward.
Advanced Production Software
With more of us having more access to high quality recording equipment, and apps like TikTok and Instagram leading the way, independent artists have more opportunities than ever to pave their own way. The barriers to entry for the garage band or the bathroom rapper are not what they used to be. Just look at PinkPantheress - in three years, she’s gone from an unknown, budding artist to not only racking up close to 1 billion streams on Boy’s a Liar Pt. 2, but also featuring on the Barbie soundtrack (the one we spoke about earlier). We hope to see more emerging artists continue to develop their style, use content in creative ways, and solidify their fan bases to force their way into the big leagues.
With Abel Tesfaye looking to move from his ‘The Weeknd’ brand and André 3000 recently releasing a surprisingly experimental album, we hope to see more household names taking a step away from the sounds we know them for in 2024. New musical horizons in the mainstream would be a refreshing addition - there aren’t many things more disappointing than a release that feels tired and uninspired.
AI in Music
It will also be interesting to see the developments AI makes in the music industry. We’ve already seen AI gain traction in the last couple of years, thanks to a number of AI-generated soundalikes, and it’s probably been used in the background for a while without us knowing. It’s a controversial subject, but we predict that it’s going to continue to revolutionise music production, pitch records, or even lead to personalised music for the listener in 2024 and beyond, meaning we can look forward to creative songwriting and production styles we may not have had the opportunity of hearing otherwise.
Whatever 2024 brings, I'm sure we'll be blessed with a variety of projects that keep us reaching for our headphones.
Want to read the rest of our That's A Wrap report? Head here.
We can't always predict the future, but we're pretty good at predicting how music will influence your customers. To find out more about perfectly profiled playlists, curated to help you achieve your business objectives, get in touch.