There's been a huge music industry shift taking place that few are talking about.
The growth of independent artists has grown exponentially since 2020 and has become extremely oversaturated.
According to music data site Luminate, 46% of the total ISRC song codes (the international identification system for sound recorings) in existence were created just since 2020! That is wild. I'd say largely due to short form vertical video algorithms and rising popularity of streaming.
Now here is the craziest part, has the number of music promoters, venues, agents, managers, and record labels increased proportionally? No, not even close in my opinion. So this leaves way more artists gunning for the same spots in a hyper competitive environment.
Now knowing how oversaturated venues/touring/agents/streaming are I think it's very logical that the digital creator economy for musicians will continue to grow more as artists look to new ways to monetize. Here are some:
- Subscription platforms like patreon and bandcamp.
- Youtube and twitch streaming
- Digital Education
- Sample packs
- Social Media monetization
- Branded partnerships
- New direct to fan platforms
It seems pretty obvious to me that these types of categories will provide huge opportunity moving forward and will allow musicians to diversify their income better in an oversaturated environment. I expect all of these sectors to grow more into next year and new tech platforms will emerge and innovate.
How can you stand out in an oversaturated environment? Here's a few key ideas going forward that I think will remain super valuable for artists into 2024.
- Master social media and acquire new content creation skills such as filming and editing. Social media is the way new artists get discovered these days, so you need to stick out with professional content.
- Developing a meaningful story driven brand. Fans and people connect with an authentic story, thinking about this can really help when launching your artist project.
- Clear and cohesive artistic direction with your brand. Everything from album art to press photos to your logo should tell a story with the music and be of the highest professional quality.
- Develop your own unique lane with your sound and own it, familiar enough but different enough is a good balance.