– The streaming battle will continue with more artists’ pulling/banning albums and materials from services like Spotify or Pandora.
– Beats and Apple will take their place in the streaming game. Apple waited too long to get into the streaming game, they will stick to what they know best and maybe even abandon the whole streaming service. Apple’s decision to do so will surprise many, however, Apple is smart enough to know when to fold before failing. Low subscription numbers will make Apple back out of the streaming services.
– Streaming services will focus on changing from two-tier models to three or four tier models, which will give artists fair ground by limiting the consumption the consumer has and not a free for all.
– The freemium membership is a thing of the past or has a limited time frame.
– Vinyl continues to grow and appeal to consumers, with alluring artwork and digital download codes. Limited release copies will leave consumers hunting and paying higher price tags, along with contests and prize gives a ways, with hidden codes or special vinyl. A good example would be the band Primus.
– Record Store Day and other events likewise will continue to show consumers the importance of brick and mortar mom and pop shops in the music culture.
– We will see more high profile artists and groups, set exclusive deals with sponsored album releases (Ex. Jay-z, U2, Taylor Swift, iTunes, Samsung, and Target.)
– Artists and groups will pair ticket sales with album sales as a package deal. After all in a truly digital world, everything is in the cloud.
– Touring continues to be the major income for the music industry. As gas prices become lower and the economy grows strong, I believe this will be the year of music festivals.
– Digital music sales and physical sales continue to plummet. However, when new streaming models are implemented sales will grow and prosper.
– YouTube Music Key service will take awhile to launch, due to YouTube’s legal problems and other glitches. However, the service will not be the success that everyone foresees. Users will have a hard time paying for the subscription service that they can get for free, minus a few features.
– Smart phones will keep reshaping the live music experience, from ticketing, live social media, contests, Artists Apps, promotions, and marketing.
– Independents will grow even more in power, not only for scouting new talent, but their creative ways to marketing and promoting music.
– Warner Music Group has an outstanding year due to their diverse investments within the music industry or around it (Ex. Shazam, Interlube, and Gold Typhoon Group.)
– Pandora will lose the fight against The Turtles and all music artists recorded before 1972. They will be forced to pay out some big money and finally realize they are a streaming service and not a radio station.
– Neil Young’s Pono Player becomes a household name and will move some impressive numbers this year, which will hit the consumer market in Jan- Mar of 2015. (This one may even drive heavy sales well into the 4Q)
– Pono Music and Players drive FLAC Files, which hold a high resolution, a better quality of format, and is compared to vinyl.
– FLAC Files will be the format to increase music sales in 2015.
– Consumers replace their previous music formats for FLAC Files. Is this the answer the music industry is looking for?