It’s the end of a very volatile, yet exciting year in music licensing.
This relatively new market has exploded in the last decade. With every new “screen” viewing opportunity that has come about due to the advent of smart phones, tablets, and computers, so have opportunities in music licensing and the content creation market.
But on the flip-side, as other music business models have contracted or withered away (like the more traditional record label and publishing models), there has come about an over saturation in the licensing market of songs vying for space.
So where will music licensing be 1 year from now?
Here are my predictions:
1. There will be more opportunities to license music in film, T.V. and advertising.
More original content will be voraciously consumed and, with that, the need for music to go alongside the visuals will grow. Look for more cable channels, more networks, and greater consumer use of music for videos on sites like YouTube and Vimeo.
2. There will be more artists, labels, and publishers going after opportunities in music licensing because the other avenues to generate revenue will have contracted.
While the need for music will continue to increase, so will the number of writers and artists trying to get their music into this space.
3. The upfront payouts for music licenses will have decreased due to supply and demand.
Writers and artists will have to work twice as hard and be more strategic in order to get their music licensed.
4. There will be more direct licensing platforms in the marketplace that enable end users to find and license music.
New websites are being created and developed each day with the intent to deliver music straight from the creator to both the pro and consumer market. More simple and elegant solutions will appear, while the industry’s gatekeepers will begin to disappear in lieu of these more direct models.
5. There will be more partnering of companies, products and services to create more of an impact.
There will be more branding partnerships, more collaborations, and more teaming up as companies and individuals attempt to get a competitive edge in an already crowded marketplace.
6. The job of finding music for these opportunities will become faster paced.
Look for music “getters” or “music supervisors” as they are called, to reach out more and more to their trusted sources and use filters because of the deadlines involved.
7. There will be more use of independent music due to lower budgets.
Even though there is more content being created for film, T.V., games, and the like, it seems that production budgets keep getting lower. As a result, licensing music by better-known artists will become unaffordable. Instead, music supervisors will be reaching out to more independent and lesser-known artists.
These are just a handful of my predictions. The marketplace is still the Wild West in many ways and opportunities to make a claim are still great. But you’ll need to be very strategic and have great work ethic in order to flourish in this highly competitive and ever-growing market.