The 3 biggest music industry trends of 2018 identifiable after SXSW

adminGeneralLeave a Comment

Over the past two decades, the music industry has been rapidly developing. New music industry trends have been spawning everywhere. It is only 18 years ago (I know, time flies…)  since the launch of the first iPod and since then the way people listen to their music has changed immensely. Most of us now have more music at their disposal then they would ever be able to carry. Most Spotify users are now complaining that they can ‘only’ store 3333 songs on their mobile devices.

The way to figure out what the next innovation is going to be is to attend South By Southwest (SXSW). Last week we had the pleasure of attending SXSW with our amazing team. South by Southwest has long been the signature way for us to detect new trends in the music industry and this year did not disappoint. Let’s talk about the 3 biggest music industry trends we identified at SXSW 2018.

1. Music industry trends: Blockchain

The biggest and easiest to identify trend was blockchain. The convention floors were filled with startups, scale-ups and established companies boasting their blockchain technology. More than 30 blockchain startups attended SXSW 2018. Aside from the startups, there were also multiple events where people were speaking about blockchain.

The industry has been ripe for disruption for a while now and this really seems to be the way forward. It isn’t just the playback but the industry as a whole appears to be benefiting from it. The established positions of concert hall owners, ticketing agencies, managers and labels are all being challenged by the technology. The benefits of decentralised payments and fair distribution are beyond the scope of this blog but feel free to check out other blogs we wrote about that here.

2. Music industry trends: More independent musicians

The second clear music industry trends that we saw was a little harder to identify. Independent musicians usually don’t say that they are independent up front. However, many of them came to us to have a chat. Volareo, and blockchain in general really, offer them a way out. Most platforms and labels give musicians the following deal; we give you listeners, you give us the money.  Loads of artists are done with this, just look at all the recent lawsuits carried out against labels, as Forbes claims.

Many new, but also long-time musicians are now taking matters into their own hands. It does take a lot of work for most of them but it has large benefits. Besides being a musician, a lot of them are now also becoming business owners. Getting people to work for them instead of serving the larger labels. This also sparks the popularity of the new generation labels (like our own BLCKCHN Records). These labels aren’t all about control but rather just do what they are supposed to, help musicians focus on music.

3. Music industry trends: Interactive

The last of the music industry trends we saw was musicians seeking interactivity. We noticed that many musicians are seeking new ways to find and more importantly connect with their fans. Many musicians have recently started blogging, vlogging or podcasting. As we also highlighted in one of our latest blogs, musicians feel disconnected. Ed Sheeran (and many others) started on the streets where a fan could give feedback instantly by means of a clap, a high five or even a tip. Currently, users of platforms like Spotify and Apple music can do neither. All they can do is listen to another song and that is it. This is not enough and many of them told us directly or showed us by asking us to interact with them on their socials.

As mentioned, many of them look for different platforms to share their story. The biggest trend we noticed was people opting for platforms like Youtube and Facebook to connect. They used video content to reach a large audience quickly and then transcribed it or turned it into a podcast to spread the content over multiple platforms. We see this as something very positive. Not only for the fan but also for the musician. Connecting on a deeper level will allow people to identify more with the brand that the musician creates and thus will most likely end with more revenue. However, one must not forget that social channels aren’t a one-way street and that communication needs to result in engagement. We see too many musicians putting out content and then forgetting about it. The key here is, for both parties, that a response occurs. Reward your fans for the support they give you, remember it is pretty special that they do!

Effect on Volareo

Volareo is in the middle of all of this. Our exposure to all of these trends also explains the high amount of attention we received from people at SXSW. This was great to experience and once again confirmed to us not only how much fun SXSW can be but more importantly how much impact our speaker will make. Volareo will be the first speaker to incorporate blockchain technology. By doing this we hope to make it possible for smaller musicians to live off their hobbies. This path will not only help them to earn from doing what they love doing most but also interact with those who love what they create most.


Curious about Volareo? Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates on our progress!

Subscribers enjoy perks

Join us as music pioneers on the Volareo adventure. Subscribe for Exclusive Sneak Previews.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.