Napster came on the scene roughly 20 years ago and revolutionize the music business. Since then, streaming services have consistently evolved to answer the growing music consumption and boost revenue for the whole industry. Now what’s next?

Midem Music Pulse – The Future of Music Streaming

How streaming is changing music? What are the main music streaming trends? How the future of music streaming will look like? The global music streaming market has revolutionized the industry the last decade, but platforms are now facing some challenges.

Midem Music Pulse helps you understand the main challenges and key trends shaping the future of the international music business via exclusive content from the Midem conference programme.

Every month, Midem conference team offers you a curated eye on Midem conference programme, to discover insightful business tips, key facts and global strategies on vibrant topics of the music industry.

Discover the 5 biggest challenges for the future of music streaming!

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1. End the Royalties Battle

We’re still struggling with it! It’s like the ketchup stuck in the bottle; why can’t we get it out? I’m not even sure who to pay sometimes […] we do work with a number of publishers to ensure artists get paid. But the industry could do better.”Mathew Daniel, VP International, NetEase Cloud Music (China)

This quote is excerpted from  Mathew Daniel’s keynote at Midem 2019. With China becoming the 10th largest recorded music market globally, Chinese music licensing pioneer Mathew Daniel, VP of International at NetEase Cloud Music, the country’s fastest growing music service, has launched the first legal independent music store in China 10 years ago, and paved the way for many international artists to legally distribute their music in China. His keynote focuses on the exciting developments taking place in the Chinese music market, as well as his vision on placing Chinese and international independent artists and executives at the heart of streaming.

2. Don’t Take Growth for Granted

“Streaming isn’t a format: it’s a business model. But streaming is still only one business model, and a business model that in many ways is so constraining, that we really only have one set of experiences in the market.”Mark Mulligan, Managing Director & Analyst, MIDiA Research (UK)

This quote is excerpted from Midem 2019 “The Rise of New Streaming Markets” conference. This exclusive presentation by MIDiA Research chronologically underlines the big development of Streaming observed in western countries first, to then detail its expansion to emerging markets like Latin America or China in Asia.

3. Refocus on Consumers

“Labels’ mission is to provide the best services to artists, and streamers’ mission is to provide the best service to consumers, so when streamers get close to artists, it’s to leverage them as marketing tools to get closer to consumers.”Marie-Anne Robert, Global Head of Artist Development, Believe Digital (France)

This quote is excerpted from Midem 2019 “Are Streamers the Future Labels” conference. At a time when it is often said that content is king, content distributors such as YouTube, Google and Apple are well-positioned to provide artists with the advances and marketing budgets labels are famous for, while also having the technical capabilities to provide digital distribution that labels lack. For these companies, they can leverage their success in the digital content distribution market to branch into the music business, relying on their own platforms as marketing tools, especially as terrestrial radio play has become less important in marketing an artist.

4. Clean and Standardize Metadata

“It’s the need for clean data. The need for context. What’s popular and what’s new? […] It’s only created that many more opportunities for confusion. There’s something like 40 bands called Exile, so how do I know which is the right one?”Scott Ryan, VP of Music, Gracenote (USA)

This quote is excerpted from Midem 2019 “Beyond Smart Speakers: the Future of Voice Technology” conference. It has been just over four years since Amazon’s Alexa spoke and understood its first words, allowing us to turn on lights, settle sports arguments and, most importantly, play our favorite tunes on command via smart speakers. Now that the technology have matured, our music requests have become more refined than ever. Over the next eighteen months, these voice-enabled smart assistants will be even better music curators, providing highly personalized music experiences driven by input factors such as mood, weather, traffic and, your heartrate! This panel of experts discusses the ‘possibilities’, more specifically to understand how AI will help make our personal sound-scapes more satisfying.

5. Develop Social Features

“I see the artist community wanting desperately to create this fandom and this intimacy with fans… So if the DSPs could find a way to be more social, and foster those connections.” – Bill Patrizio, President & CEO, Rhapsody International/Napster (USA)

This quote is excerpted from Midem 2019 “Paid Subscribers War: the New Business Opportunities” conference. Thanks to the exploding popularity of streaming platforms, the music industry has experienced a ‘revival.’ All three major labels – Sony Music, Warner, and Universal – now post billions each year in digital revenue. Now, with streaming music growing in developing countries, one firm now predicts the total number of people paying for services will grow at a skyrocketing rate. Some recent reports attributes the growth of streaming subscriptions to competition and the availa-bility of family plans. In addition, as more people purchase smart speakers, consumers now accept streaming subscriptions as the new music norm.

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