Alan Cross: 11 predictions for music in 2022 – National

Like you, Omicron has weakened me. Just as we thought things were getting better, COVID-19 is wiggling its tips into a new configuration, and suddenly December 2021 felt a lot like March 2020. But maybe we should have seen this coming. This pandemic reflects many of the things that happened with the great flu pandemic of 1918-20. If this continues to hold true, then we should see a big recovery for spring.

That’s my first prediction for 2022. Here are a few other things I anticipate for the coming year.

1. TikTok becomes even more of a monster when it comes to music

Once TikTok had entered into licensing agreements with the recorded music industry, the platform – now the third largest social media network on the planet – became a huge source of revenue for companies and artists. We’ve already seen dozens of artists blowing into the air this way, including Olivia Rodrigo, Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion. And success can come out of nowhere. Vancouver’s Mother Mother has a song called “Burning Pile”, which was the sixth most popular alternative / rock TikTok song in the universe in 2021. They released that song in 2008.

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Over the past 12 months, 430 songs have surpassed more than a billion views last year, three times as many as in 2020. Over 175 songs listed on the Billboard Hot 100, double the year before. Expect a similar leap in 2022. When you have 755 million monthly users, many of whom are looking for music, strange and wonderful things can happen. What these things may be is still TBD.

2. The vinyl shortage will continue, opening the doors to a revival of the CD

I do not remember when I last bought a CD, because if I buy anything, it’s vinyl. But thanks to worldwide production problems and material shortages, orders for new vinyl have been harder to fill, and prices have risen. This is admittedly a long shot, but can the recorded industry return to the CD as a physical alternative to vinyl? Maybe – at least until the vinyl supply chain solves itself. An interesting note: the CD was first introduced to the world in late 1982, so this year the format marks its 40th anniversary. It just screams some kind of memorial service, right?

3. We get so tired of the pandemic that concert attendance will explode next summer

We saw indications of this in some parts of the world last summer with crowded arenas, stadiums and festivals. But then Delta hit, leading to a big jump in absenteeism from ticket holders (40 per cent in the US, up to 50 per cent in the UK). But once winter is over, booster shots are given, and new treatments pop up (yay, Pfizer COVID pill!), People will once again be attending live music events in droves. And do not come up with the idea of ​​another variant to mess with our lives.

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Speaking of concerts, some old favorites will be back on the road

What do Paul McCartney, AC / DC, Iron Maiden, The Who, Bon Jovi, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Ozzy Osbourne, U2, Aerosmith and the Red Hot Chili Peppers have in common? Nobody has toured since COVID-19 hit. And do you blame them? Many of these artists are in their late 60s and early 70s, and after living a life full of sex and drugs, they probably have some sort of underlying condition. No wonder they have stayed home. However, it will come to an end in mid-2022.

5. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will see more integration with music

People have been predicting a new metavers of music for years, but technology is starting to catch up. Yes, multiple acts will continue to appear virtually in environments like Fortnite, but that’s just the beginning. As Facebook moves toward becoming Meta combined with the arrival of a mixed reality headset from Apple sometime in 2022, music will be one of the gateway drugs to, no matter what early forms the meta-verse will take.

6. More heritage artists will sell their catalogs

Why did Bruce Springsteen sell his life’s work to Sony? Tax purposes. Sure, he could have collected regular royalty checks for the rest of his life, but under U.S. tax rules, that money is treated as ordinary income, meaning it is taxed at a very high rate, perhaps as high as 50 percent. Take all that money up front and it is considered capital gains. The tax rate for this is around 20 per cent. Any questions?

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There is still a lot of money splashing around for that kind of purchase. Sting’s name has been mentioned a lot. Bob Seger too. Gene Simmons from KISS told me that he is open to the idea as long as the price is right. And as long as the returns on these song catalogs exceed the inflation rate, it remains a solid long-term strategy.

Speaking of hereditary artists selling their catalogs …

Companies like Primary Wave and Hipgnosis have spent billions of dollars buying song catalogs. Now comes the hard part: They have to earn their money back. This can only be done by keeping this music alive for longer than it otherwise would have done. Expect to see much more of this Boomer-created rock emerge everywhere in popular culture, from product licenses to placement in TV series and movies to merchandising. Another way to generate money is to entice younger artists to cover these songs, so do not be surprised if you start hearing lots of new versions of old songs.

8. The dominance of streaming will continue – but not as you might think

Canadians are reliably streaming more than two billion songs a week now with on-demand audio streams ahead by nearly 13 percent over 2020. Older people who have grown up with physical media are slowly entering the game, especially when they realize how easy it is it’s for instant access to pretty much every song ever recorded, no matter where they are. And they do not want the new things either. While Drakes and The Weeknds of the World are getting all the pressure to be in the Spotify Top 200, the truth is that 66 percent of all streams are songs that are more than 18 months old. That is where the real growth lies. Keep an eye out for streamers to push older music more and more.

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9. Streaming royalty payments will slowly change for artists

The buzz phrase is “artist-centric royalty payments.” This is a process where if you have a subscription to a streaming music service, your monthly fee will go to the artists you listen to. How Spotify and Apple Music work now. At the end of each month, they look at which artists had the largest percentage of streams and distribute revenue based on those percentages. This means that the money you pay will most likely not go to the artists you have actually listened to. The superstars keep getting more super, while niche artists get hurt. But now that SoundCloud and Tidal are entering the artist-centric headspace, there may be a shift to this new and fairer form of artist remuneration.

10. More NFTs are coming

I do not understand it. It seems like everyone wants a piece of this trend, but I’m passing by, thank you. If you’re into that sort of thing, do not be surprised to see sites like Bandcamp come into play.

11. Spotify becomes the worldwide king of podcast distribution

Apple practically invented the podcast game more than a decade and a half ago. But in its quest to be all sound for everyone, Spotify has overtaken Apple, and in some areas moved into first place. The company is so serious about podcasts that it has a new campus in downtown Los Angeles internally called “Pod City,” which features 18 podcast studios and a stage. This step, Apple.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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