h

The success of 'A Star Is Born' and 'Bohemian Rhapsody' will see more music movies in 2019

Welcome to part two of our 2019 music industry predictions.

MORE MUSIC MOVIES
 
With Bohemian Rhapsody churning US$600 million and A Star Is Born $404 million, expect a scramble to get more music movies out. We know Elton John’Rocketman is due in May, an animated Spice Girls cash-in for the world tour, and work has begun on Aretha Franklin and Motley Crue big-screeners. Our nightmare will be that we’re stuck with once-abandoned flicks on Greg AllmanDennis Wilson of the Beach BoysGeorge Jones and Tammy Wynette, and Paul McCartney’s The Bruce McMouse Show. The latter is about a family of mice living under a stage. You just know it’s going to be excruciating.
 
THE LIVE EXPERIENCE WILL EXPAND FROM JUST THE CONCERT
 
Emerging technology – augmented and virtual reality, wearable devices, advanced mobile apps, blockchain etc – will expanded the live experience. You’ll take a selfie with a star backstage without meeting them. Wearables, which give high-quality audio and real-time mixing, will now include playable tattoos, sunglasses for radio listening or shirts with samples built in. Post-gig packages will offer digital photos, interactive setlists and fresh content from artists. No need for mobile phones at shows, which is just as well, as there will be growing pressure for venues to stop phone pests.
 
MUSIC RECOGNITION, 360 REALITY AUDIO
 
Upgrades in Music Recognition Technology will make it easier to monitor and track where a song is being played, and hopefully solve the serious problem of so much mechanical licenses being unrecognised on streaming platforms (25%–35% in the US). Artificial intelligence will continue to be used primarily in two ways: predictive analytics will get better at predicting what songs people like, while Sony and IBM are using musical components like mood, cadence and style to compose new songs. Sony’s immersive multi-channel 360 Reality Audio format (“3D for your ears”) will have different sounds hit you from an awesome array of directions. Sony is developing an app to “enable users to take photos of their own ears with a smartphone to create an optimised musical experience based on an analysis of the hearing characteristics of user’s ears.”
 
MORE RECORD COMPANIES WILL BE BOUGHT AND SOLD
 
With investors now doing a Pavlov’s Dog for the music business, how many record companies will have a For Sale sticker stuck on them? Vivendi was already planning to sell Universal Music by December 2019 when it was valued at €20 billion. This month Deutsche Bank amped it up to €29 billion (A$45.9b) with likely suitors including Live Nation co-owner Liberty Media, Chinese digital giant Tencent, Alphabet (AKA Google), Facebook, Amazon, Spotify, Alibaba and Apple. With such numbers, how long before other owners start quivering with excitement?
 
INDIE’S TENTACLES WILL GROW
 
The global indie sector had a 39.9% share in 2017 (based on ownership, not distribution), up from 39.6% in 2016, an increase year-on-year of 10.9%. In comparison, major labels’ monetary growth grew 9.7% in the same period. Revenue for self-releasing artists rose from $94 million in 2016 to $101 million in 2017. With streaming accounting for 44% in indie’s income (33% in 2016) and growing by 46% in 2017, expect some impressive figures for the indie sector at end of 2019.