Alan Cross: 11 predictions for music in 2022 – National

Like you, Omicron disgusted me. Just as we thought things were getting better, COVID-19 is waving its spikes in a new setup and suddenly December 2021 looked a lot like March 2020. But maybe we should have seen it coming. This pandemic reflects many of the events of the great influenza pandemic of 1918-1920. If this continues to be true, we should see a major recovery by spring.

This is my first prediction for 2022. Here are a few other things I predict for the year ahead.

1. TikTok will become even more of a monster when it comes to music

Once TikTok made licensing deals with the recorded music industry, the platform – now the third largest social media network on the planet – has become a huge source of revenue for labels and artists. . We’ve seen dozens of artists explode this way before, including Olivia Rodrigo, Doja Cat, and Megan Thee Stallion. And success can come out of nowhere. Mother Mother from Vancouver has a song called “Burning Pile” which was the sixth most popular TikTok alternative / rock track in the universe in 2021. They released this song in 2008.

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In the past 12 months, 430 songs topped over 1 billion views last year, three times more than in 2020. Over 175 songs listed in the Billboard Hot 100, double the previous year . Expect a similar jump in 2022. When you have 755 million monthly users, many of whom are looking for music, weird and wonderful things can happen. What these things can be is yet to be determined.

2. The vinyl shortage will continue, opening the doors to a CD revival

I can’t remember the last time I bought a compact disc because if I buy anything, it’s vinyl. But thanks to global production issues and material shortages, orders for new vinyls have been harder to fill and prices have skyrocketed. It is certainly a long road, but could the recorded industry return to CDs as a physical alternative to vinyl? Maybe – at least until the vinyl supply chain works on its own. An interesting note: the CD was first presented to the world at the end of 1982, so this year marks the 40th anniversary of the format. It just screams a kind of commemoration, doesn’t it?

3. We will be so fed up with the pandemic that concert attendance will explode next summer

We saw signs of this in parts of the world last summer with crowded arenas, stadiums and festivals. But Delta then struck, leading to a huge increase in the number of no-shows by ticket holders (40% in the US, up to 50% in the UK). But once the winter is over, the booster shots and the emergence of new treatments (yes, Pfizer’s COVID pill!), People will once again be attending live music events in droves. And please don’t even bring up the idea of ​​another variation to ruin our lives.

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4. Speaking of concerts, some old favorites will be back on the road.

What do Paul McCartney, AC / DC, Iron Maiden, The Who, Bon Jovi, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Ozzy Osbourne, U2, Aerosmith and the Red Hot Chili Peppers have in common? None have toured since the COVID-19 hit. And do you blame them? Many of these performers are in their late 60s and early 60s, and having lived lives full of sex and drugs, likely have some sort of underlying condition. No wonder they stayed home. This, however, will end by mid-2022.

5. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will see greater integration with music

People have been predicting a new metavistic of music for years, but the technology is starting to deliver on its promises. Yes, more acts will continue to occur virtually in environments like Fortnite, but that’s just the start. As Facebook moves towards Meta status coupled with the arrival of a mixed reality headset from Apple sometime in 2022, music will be one of the gateway drugs to the first forms the Metaverse will take.

6. More heritage artists will sell their catalogs

Why did Bruce Springsteen sell his life’s work to Sony? For tax purposes. Of course, he could have collected regular royalty checks for the rest of his life, but under US tax rules this money is treated as regular income, meaning it is taxed at a very high rate, maybe up to 50%. Take all that money up front and it’s considered a capital gain. The tax rate for this is around 20 percent. Questions?

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There is still a lot of money lying around for these kinds of purchases. Sting’s name has been mentioned a lot. Bob Seger too. Gene Simmons from KISS told me he’s open to the idea as long as the price is right. And as long as the rate of return on those songbooks exceeds the rate of inflation, it remains a solid long-term strategy.

7. Speaking of heritage artists selling their catalogs…

Companies like Primary Wave and Hipgnosis have spent billions of dollars to buy song catalogs. Now comes the hard part: they have to get their money back. This can only be done by keeping this music alive longer than it otherwise would have. Expect to see a lot more of this baby boomer-created rock popping up all over popular culture, from product licensing to TV show and movie placement to merchandising. Another way to generate money is to get young artists to cover these songs, so don’t be surprised if you start hearing a lot of new versions of old songs.

8. The domination of streaming will continue, but not as you might expect.

Canadians reliably stream over two billion songs per week now, with on-demand audio streams almost 13% ahead of 2020. Older people who have grown up with physical media are slowly entering the world. game, especially when they realize how easy it is. for instant access to virtually any song ever recorded, anywhere. And they don’t want anything new either. While Drakes and Weeknds around the world have all the press to make Spotify’s Top 200, the truth is, 66% of all streams are songs over 18 months old. This is where the real growth lies. Watch for streamers to stream more and more older music.

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9. Streaming royalty payments will slowly change for artists

The buzzword is “artist-centric royalty payments”. This is a process whereby if you have a subscription to a streaming music service, your monthly fees will go to the artists you listen to. This is how Spotify and Apple Music work now. At the end of each month, they look at which artists have the highest flow percentage and distribute the earnings based on those percentages. This means that the money you pay probably doesn’t go to the artists you actually listened to. Superstars are getting more and more awesome while niche artists are getting hurt. But now that SoundCloud and Tidal are entering the artist-centric free space, there could be a shift towards this new, fairer form of artist pay.

10. More NFT are coming

I do not understand. It seems like everyone wants a piece of this trend, but I’ll pass, thanks. If you like that sort of thing, don’t be surprised to see sites like Bandcamp come into the game.

11. Spotify will become the world king of podcast distribution

Apple practically invented the podcast game over fifteen years ago. But in its quest to be all audio for everyone, Spotify has caught up with Apple and, in some territories, moved up to number one. The company is so serious about podcasts, it has a new campus in downtown Los Angeles called internally “Pod City” which features 18 podcast studios and a performance stage. Your move, Apple.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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