The Future Of Music

The music industry is changing way faster than we predicted

👋 What's up!

Really insightful issue this week. Lots of gems and things to think about for the future of our music production passion and profession.

Also, I finally made all old issues available right from the newsletter signup page. So if you missed any of the older issues, you can catch up straight from the archive.



In Today's Issue 💬

→ Is TikTok the future of music?

→ Old music gets more streams than new music

→ Q&A: Larry Ohh

Is TikTok The Future Of Music?

Prior to the pandemic, TikTok started to take off overseas as they reached one billion downloads by February 2019. Fast forward another year, striving amidst the pandemic, the social media platform took over everyone’s lives.

Today in 2022, music labels and marketers look to TikTok to see what’s trending and what music will eventually blow up to dominate the charts.

Business Insider article revealed that song promo deals between an artist and a marketer have become a significant source of income for content creators. Marketers seek to understand what consumers like and create content with music in mind that taps into those interests.

“67% of the app’s users are more likely to seek out songs on music streaming services after hearing them on TikTok” - according to a November 2021 study conducted for TikTok by the music-analytics company MRC Data.

This means that any kind of music has the potential of gaining traction on the platform and gaining new followers. This inevitably converts into tons of streams and plays on whatever music streaming app is used by the consumer.

👨🏻‍💻 My take on this

As you already know if you are a weekly reader, I love the direct artist-fan relationship you can have with social medias. I love that some talented kid who lives somewhere in the middle of nowhere can post their art, gain a following and potentially even become a famous artist.

On the other hard, I think it's extremely important to be careful and not let the marketing of things drive the music. Creative decisions should be made based on artistic direction - not on what is easier to turn into a viral dance.

It's a fine line but I think we all need to be careful and compromise between "pure art" and "algorithm content".

Old Music Gets More Streams Than New Music

According to recent data from music analytics firm MRC, old songs now represent 70% of today’s music market. When referring to old songs, we are referring to catalog - which is music that was created at least 18 months ago.

For instance, when looking at MRC data of music consumption in the last couple years, the songs from 2020 are being streamed and played more often than those released in 2021 - That's pretty weird!

A few reasons why this is happening:

  1. Not all new music is reaching the right audience. Besides social media, most new music is still mostly undiscovered, even if it’s super good. As music analyst Ted Gioia says, “The problem isn’t a lack of good new music. It’s an institutional failure to discover and nurture it.”
  2. Streaming demographics are broadening, which means music tastes are wider and more spread out. People used to mostly just listen to whatever was played on the radio, now they can pick from literally anything in the world.
    According to an article from InsideRadio - “In 2021, 96% of Gen X and 89% of Boomer music listeners reported currently using a streaming service to listen to music.” This means that millennials and Gen Z consumers are no longer at the forefront of streaming.
  3. Due to Tik Tok’s dominance since the pandemic, there have been revivals of old songs which have catapulted them into the Billboard Hot 100. InsideRadio says, “In fact, TikTok recently announced in its own 2021 report that over 175 songs that trended on its platform ended up charting on the Billboard Hot 100. That was more than twice the amount in 2020. If a song is catchy, it most likely will be used over and over again on the platform - allowing it to reach millions of people.

👨🏻‍💻 My take on this

This is such an interesting analysis. It's amazing how easily accessible music is at the moment. You can literally hop between any genre and any era in the history of modern music with one tap. I believe this is great for the art and for music in general.

I foresee a future where a lot less people will become superstars, but a lot more people will be able to live off of their art. Whatever music you make, there's a group of people out there that will enjoy listening to it. Even considering the low pay rates from streaming services, this is still the best moment in all of history to try and pursue a career in music and the arts.

The system is far from perfect, but in my opinion - it is the best it's ever been.

Q&A: Larry Ohh

The king of Instagram FL Studio tutorials shares a deeper insight into his business, content creation and advice for producers.
(The following interview, conducted via email, has been condensed and edited for clarity).

You recently surpassed 250k followers on Instagram. That’s absolutely incredible! - Can you walk us through the steps that got you to this point?

Thanks man! I think it all started with just providing a ton of value. I know that’s cliché and it’s said a lot in our industry but it is 100% true. I made sure that my content was fast, straight to the point, and super valuable to the Producer community. Another huge factor in growing a platform such as Instagram is networking. I made sure that I was always genuinely sharing peoples content, commenting, and taking part in community activities.

I imagine a large part of your business is tied to your success on Instagram, where do you see the platform going over the next 5 years? How did you build a long-term sustainable business beyond just the Instagram platform?

Yes Instagram is a huge part of my business. In the next five years I do seeing it growing continuously because of the advancements and continuous updates that they’re making on the platform to compete with others such as TickTock and YouTube. The way that I’ve been able to sustain my business is, making sure that I’ve built an email list while I was growing my Instagram account. That way if something were to happen to Instagram I would always have my core followers on my email list that I can take anywhere I’d like to go. Email lists are super underrated and people forget how powerful they are when running a business.

Kind of a random question, but I’m curious. If you could spend a day in the studio making music with any artist, dead or alive - who would you pick?

I think the person that I like to spend the day in the studio with would have to be Timbaland. Ever since I was in middle school and high school I was always amazed by his music production skills. Timbaland wasn’t enormous influence on my career as far as becoming a Producer. He’s just a musical genius and I would love to see what we could come up with together or just be able to watch during one of his sessions.

What advice would you give to producers who want to pursue a full-time career as music producers creating social media content?

Work at it every day as much as humanly possible. Put in those 10,000 hours. If this is something that you truly love you need to become obsessed with it. The only thing that will stop you is you.

Make sure to follow Larry on Instagram for some incredible producer content, tutorials, giveaways and a ton more stuff.

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