A few hastily assembled notes on the predictions offered at shesaid.so's very interesting roundtable on the future of streaming (sorry, it was early, didn’t catch the name of all of the roundtable guests)…
– It’s not a battle. It’s time to stop thinking of physical product and digital/streaming in conflict with each other; the way forward will see more interesting ways of blending the two, and a greater understanding of how they can co-exist in a broader eco-system.
– Playlists – they’re a big deal. Getting included on a Spotify ‘Your Morning Coffee’ playlist (or similar!) can have a previously unknown artist racking up plays at a supersonic rate. Playlists sustain track plays better than almost anything else. Bands, platforms and brands all need to be looking at new, increasingly innovative ways to make playlists stand out.
– Niche services. Lots of predictions that people will be willing to pay, say, a fiver on top in future for more specialised streaming offerings – one dedicated to classical music, for instance – alongside their more standard monthly subscription.
– Higher quality streams. While the offerings may not succeed (hello, Mr N Young) at the very least they spark new debate and keep the big players on their toes – as such, we need the outliers, those who can disrupt and challenge.
– Direct from artist streaming services. It’s getting easier to do and the price of the tech is coming down. Expect to see some artists considering what they can do on their own.
– Brands and streaming. Automobile and sports/fitness companies predicted to lead the way in terms of brands innovating in streaming-centric music partnerships.
– Big challenge! Getting to a mindset where we cherish our playlists and saved tracks on streaming platforms in the way we once/still do cherish our record collections. Rather hard to picture but there’s people working on it…