What I’ve learned and seen in 2016

Here are some points I have learned, witnessed or have been reminded of in another year of music.

  • The Music Industry has proven to us yet again of its constant change. Apple Music and TIDAL launched this year, more people are legally using streaming services than ever and the Music Industry is finally making money on streaming.  The industry was up 8.1 % and has had it’s most successful year since 2009.
  • More labels are taking a risk at signing not so cookie cutter artists (examples: Meghan Trainor, Lucas Grahm, and Ella King).
  • The people who have made a name for themselves in the earlier 2000’s are continuing to do so (Radiohead, Beyonce, Rihanna, Coldplay. Bruno Mars, Beiber, Drake,) etc with massive new releases and tours this year.
  • Songs and genres are always proving to evolve, but there are still songs that are being released and becoming successful that make you go “wwwhhhaaaaa”?  (Desiigner – Panda)
  • The Canadian grant economy is continuing to grow with the launch of another provincial program Creative BC.
  • FACTOR is becoming more and more known and the competition is greater than ever, with 900 applicants alone on their last Artist Development round. They are proving to remind me that the chances of funding assistance or becoming more difficult, once approved be aware you are grateful to make the top % and final cut. If you’re not approved, no problem, improve your application and approve again right away in the next round. The new competition and Jury with each deadline can mean everything.
  • People are trying to create something “new” still with live production/touring, but it’s becoming harder and hard to do (Kanye West show, Justin Beiber rain on stage on encore) have given us hope there is still something “new” to look forward to in the future.
  • “Country” music continues to create more elastic boundaries and is really pulling more genres/ influences in its market than ever.  “A few years ago, everybody was complaining that country music was only about trucks, women and Bud Light,” says Big Machine’s Jones, whose label group released all three hits. “This year proved all of that wrong. The most-played songs were actually about real life.”
  • A lot of people are still trying to make a career of music even though 91% of all artists are completely undiscovered.  It’s still about timing, demand, talent, image/ branding, experience, work ethic, mentors, fan connection and not to forget financial recourses.
  • No matter how hard an artist tries to disprove a media scandal, as soon as angered fans have a story in their head, even if proof is released after the fact, they hardly care. Sometimes even releasing a follow-up apology or disproof angers fans further. Perhaps artist should take the blunt of the media false or not, and just ride it out. Eventually, people start talking about something else.
  • Support both online and tour from a larger artist can be a massive way to break an artist, proving that a career could be crucial with that. Without those opportunities, I question the level of success they could have attained on their own. Coming back to the possible “It’s all about who you know”.
  • A reminder: Your team could be your everything to a make or break. Industry companies and teams are also constantly evolving and changing with the demand to adapt to the business. No one owes you anything, business is business.
  • Beyonce found a way to create purchase only product, and through high demand created sales vs streaming for herself (unlike most artists) with her audio-visual release of “Lemonade.” If you have yet to watch it (Beyonce fan or not) DO IT! It’s incredibly creative, visually tying you into a narrative story and lyrics of her release, a real piece of art.  Seeing things like this shows me that  artists and teams are still coming up with unique and creative concepts that are out of the box. That makes me happy.

I hope you have enjoyed my random thoughts and points in the year in music review for 2016. The Music Box offices will be closed from Dec 17 – January 2nd, and re-opening on the 3rd. If you are looking for assistance with FACTOR funding on the upcoming Janujary 26th deadline, please e-mail me by January 5th at bonnie@musicboxartistconsulting.com Thank you to all of my clients in 2016! Looking forward to another great year in 2017!! Happy Holidays – XO

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