December 2, 2021
2021 has been an eventful year in music, and although much of the chaos is a result of the pandemic, the normal evolution of the business had a lot to do with it as well. With that in mind, here are some music industry predictions for 2022.
The Live Music Industry Will Be Worth $31 Billion Worldwide by 2022
As expected, streaming continues to overtake other music sales formats. PwC estimates streaming music will grow at a CAGR of 18%. However, it won’t match the strength of the live concert industry. Streaming music revenue will grow to slightly over $23 billion by 2022.
Of course, the two are now happily intertwined, with streaming often propelling crowds towards live performances.
Pandemic fatigue leads to a full recovery of the concert industry
2022 puts us into year 3 of the pandemic, and with new variants continuing to emerge (and get weaker, like Omicron) and booster shots offering strong protection, the concert industry will accelerate the comeback started in 2021. Even music fans previously hesitant to return to concerts will be eager to return to live concerts as they tire of sitting at home on Saturday evenings.
Streaming subscription prices increase 20%
With prices and costs going up everywhere, the major streaming platforms take a deep breath and make use of the opportunity to raise prices in mature markets in the US and Europe by 20%. And lo and behold, customers do not defect in droves, thanks to the stickiness of their existing artist, song, and playlist collections on their favorite streaming platform. The DSPs will spin this (rightfully) as a way to increase royalty payments to rightsholders.
The TikTok Allure Declines
TikTok use may have peaked in 2020 thanks to the pandemic, but 2022 will see the slow decline of the video platform. With all the major streaming platforms introducing their own short video versions as well as direct competitors like Triller, it will be a death by a thousand cuts. Plus TikTok’s major demographic of 13 to 24 is both extremely fickle and more likely to grow out of the need to use it daily. There is no new “latest thing” on the horizon yet, but something new under the radar may emerge soon to make the platform even less attractive.
Podcasting Peters Out
This year has seen the rush to podcasting as streaming companies see it as a way to increase revenue without the giant licensing fees, and everyone from celebrities to people who own a USB microphone gets their own show. The problem is that podcasting is hard work, the rewards apply only to the lucky 1%, and the listening public only has so many hours in the day. 2022 sees many podcasters falling by the wayside, especially as a bit of normalcy returns to their everyday lives.
Over the past few years many hit songs have had as many as 20 writers, not so much for their contributions but as a hedge against a future plagiarism lawsuit. If you were in the room when it was being created, you received songwriter credit. The pandemic has caused songwriters and producers do less collaboration, meaning fewer writers on a song and a return to more traditional song forms as a result. We’re seeing that happening already with current hits by Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande.
There are plenty of other possible predictions for 2022, but these are the ones that spring immediately to mind. Let’s see how many come to pass.