5 Trends That Will Shape 2020

Happy New Year 2020!

As we start the new year, knowing the trends that will conduct the new direction of the Music and Entertainment industries is a must for every professional. In a business known for its uncertainties and fast-paced advancements, being a top of the game and its evolution is crucial to create, maintain, and expand a sustainable professional career. For this new year 2020, and the beginning of a new decade, five significant trends are already starting to manifest themselves in our day-to-day interactions with audiences, and all the different players in these industries.

Take a read of our top-five trends, and prepare not only to endure, but to create, and lead your way in this business in 2020.

1. Non-music related brands will sign record deals and buy catalogs

To start our trends list. Big, world-renowned brands that are currently investing millions in artist sponsorships and events might decide to take the whole “record label” issue on their own hands. These brands will sign artists to exclusive record/sponsor/ambassador deals under their guard (and wallet). With the accelerated increase of media, content, and online services specialized companies, almost all (if not all) of a Labels’ offered services can get to be outsourced and covered by any entity with enough buying power.

In addition to this matter, investing groups and individuals are venturing into the music catalog ownership and trade. Right at the moment in time, when artists and creators are most aware of rights-ownership, companies and people with interests in buying music stock are looking to take the rights of all these songs and compositions under their power. The constant buying and selling of these catalogs will open a new chapter in copyright law.

There are plenty of multi-national and local companies that have rubbed shoulders with the music industry throughout history: Coca-ColaPepsiRedBullAdidas, and many more. (This can cause a better payout from Labels to artists as a countermeasure)

2. Hits will last longer on the charts

Introducing our main specimens: “Old Town Road,” and “Despacito.”

 These two take the first and second places (respectively) as the longest-leading Billboard Hot 100 No.1 songs. Both of these songs matched and broke the record in just two years – first, Despacito tied Longest run at #1 in 2017, and then Old Town Road broke the Longest run at #1 record in 2019. Would we see another record-breaking song in 2020?

Thanks to a broader extension of Internet connection around the world, songs now spread faster. Songs are now perpetually accessible through any digital device that can stream music or video. With the internet and social media, streaming platforms like Spotify and YouTube efficiently market these songs to millions of listeners and subscribers through playlists and promotional campaigns. 

Following these trends, legacy music catalogs also should be enormously benefited since the old songs of yesteryears will still live through time thanks to our limitless accessibility to all recorded music.

3. Live music experiences will keep growing

While it is not a secret that live show production is stunning these days, we should not wait for it to stop growing at any time. Ideas for an immersive and unique experience will only get bigger and bolder as 2020 goes by. Technology for on and off-stage special effects exclusively reserved for the most notorious concerts will become widely adopted. Also, multiple concert stages will be adapted to satisfy “vertical” video and mobile photography to facilitate social media content sharing.

While it is not a secret that live show production is stunning these days, we should not wait for it to stop growing at any time. Ideas for an immersive and unique experience will only get bigger and bolder as 2020 goes by. Technology for on and off-stage special effects exclusively reserved for the most notorious concerts will become widely adopted. Also, multiple concert stages will be adapted to satisfy “vertical” video and mobile photography to facilitate social media content sharing.

As concerts and festivals grow their production, so will ticket prices: fans will not only pay for live music but the whole on-site, multi-sensory experience that the concert/tour can deliver to appeal users’ social media content creation. Also, expect new and creative ways from companies and artists to fight against ticket scalping.

4. Apps will play a bigger role, and local music will grow

As discussed before, it is now easier for songs and artists to grow a global audience overnight, and it will continue to happen at a higher rate than ever. All this, thanks to mobile apps. These apps, like Tik-Tok, Instagram, etc., are now becoming the primary music diffusion, and discovery platforms: Lil Nas X, released the first versions of “Old Town Road” through Tik-Tok. Old boundaries that would separate the different kinds of music in the world are almost non-existent now. “Despacito” and 2012 megahit “Gangnam Style,” showed us, language is not a barrier these days and hits can come in any shape or form: styles like the Caribbean-South American Reggaeton are now taking over Anglo pop.

Local and independent music and entertainment scenes will rise from the shadows cast by the major labels and agencies! Almost all the media channels and technological infrastructure at our disposal will be available to grow these smaller-sized scenes exponentially. Thanks to the presence of independent artists on the same platforms as superstars, exposure, and contact with fans will be more suitable than ever, creating stronger bonds and stronger followings.

5. Songs will become (even) shorter

Shortening songs’ length is one of those trends mainly driven by streaming. We are already having a strong presence of 2-minute long songs and hits. A shorter song will make people repeat it more often, generating more spins, translating those to bigger numbers, settling in larger payouts by the platforms. Also, experts talk about the shortening of attention spans caused by mobile phones and platforms like Instagram, affecting music consumption and the amount of time a song has to “hook on” the listener – causing significant changes in song structure throughout music genres. 

On a personal note – As songs become shorter and shorter, I would say that these hit songs are becoming “jingles” used to advertise the stars’ new fashion lines or their new liquor brand. It is not so much about the music. 


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