Music Industry Highlights of 2023 and Forecasting Trends for 2024

As we gear up for the new year in SonoSuite, it’s a great time to look back and recall all the great moments happening in the music scene during 2023.

Music Industry Highlights of 2023 and Forecasting Trends for 2024

This is our Wrapped 2023!

This year has been amazing for the music industry, all thanks to streaming.

This format has driven music consumption and revenues to record levels worldwide, especially in top digital music markets like the United States, Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, France, South Korea, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

The global music digital market set a new groundbreaking record in 2023. Music streams hit the milestone of 1 trillion in just the first three months of the year.

According to Luninate’s report released last April, it’s the first year in history for this achievement, and this data shows the growing consumption of on-demand audio streaming worldwide.

In just the first quarter of 2023, music listeners from all over the globe collectively dedicated the equivalent of 960,000 years of streaming their favorite tunes. This undeniably illustrates the surge in audio streaming on a global scale.
2023 has been a fantastic year for the biggest stars like Taylor Swift who crowned herself as Spotify’s most-played artist of the year with 26.1 million streams, followed by Puerto Rican reggaeton singer Bad Bunny, The Weeknd, Drake, and Mexican musician Peso Pluma.

The report also highlights that streamers love to play and discover tunes from independent and non-English language music artists.

Around 69% of music enthusiasts in the U.S. currently listen to non-Anglophonic music, including Latin and K-pop genres, as well as French, Japanese, Indian, Italian, and Arabic artists.

The video streaming revolution: Gen Z’s impact on 2023 Digital Music

Raised in an era of instant connectivity and on-demand digital content, in 2023 Gen Zers
have solidified their position as the leading generation in embracing user-centric streaming platforms TikTok, Twitch, or Instagram (DSPs connected to SonoSuite for music distribution) to discover, share, and experience music at a whole new level.

91% of Gen Z Spotify users say they use the popular music app to dive deep into the music and podcasts they love.

This year has witnessed a notable rise in music consumption through streaming apps, particularly among Gen Z in key markets such as Brazil. An impressive 82% of Brazilian Gen Zers now prefer listening to music online.

In 2023, short-video streaming apps like TikTok or Vevo have remained the go-to platforms for discovering new artists and songs amongst Gen Z.

Earlier this year, Vevo announced a strategic collaboration with TikTok to launch a weekly “trending on TikTok” show spotlighting videos from the most viral songs on the platform.

This year also marks the arrival of TikTok Music to powerful music markets like Brazill and Indonesia, tapping into its dominant Gen Z user base.

2023: A Remarkable Year for SonoSuite

In 2023, SonoSuite has played a key role in shaping this extraordinary music year.

We can proudly say that hundreds of record labels, startups, and distributors have trusted us to launch and run their music distribution businesses independently with our white-label platform.

We’ve enabled scores of music companies to share their artists’ music on the world’s most popular DSPs and reach a global audience.

We’ve also strengthened connections with key industry players in events like NY:LON Connect, Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS), Music Tectonics, MaMA Music & Convention, the Amsterdam Dance Event, Future Music Forum Barcelona, Reeperbahn Festival, Sónar+D, and more!

We also expanded our service offering to our customers with new distribution and marketing tools, as well as new channels like Taobao, Supernatural, Qobuz, and many more!

SonoSuite, Canva & Merlin

A few months ago, Canva made headlines by partnering with the Merlin Association, providing users access to licensed music from various global artists.

As an active member of Merlin, SonoSuite now facilitates clients in distributing their content to Canva, unlocking new revenue opportunities.

SonoSuite joins YouTube, Spotify, and others in the “Friends of Impala” program

In 2023, Impala, the leading international organization representing some of the world’s biggest independent record labels, welcomed SonoSuite in their “Friends of Impala” initiative, which has been designed to enhance collaborations between companies within the independent music sector.

SonoSuite releases its podcast: Music Industry Coffee Break

In March, we launched on Spotify, Amazon Music, and Deezer our very own podcast series, “Music Industry Coffee Break”, hosted by SonoSuite’s Co-founder and Chairman of the Board, Maarten Van Wijck.

Chapter after chapter, we’ve got our monthly dose of inspiration and music industry insights from key entrepreneurs like Jaume Vintro Bonet from BMAT, Darryl Ballantyne from LyricFind, Lewis Jamieson from Music Declares Emergency, Jordi Puy from Unison, Jim Mahoney from Merlin, and the Renske Van Kollenburg, a distinguished coach, consultant, and counselor for artists and music industry professionals.

Music industry trends rocking 2024

After reviewing this year’s music innovations, it’s time to look for what’s coming next, and our predictions about the trends that will dominate the music landscape in 2024.

  • Social media and streaming

The synergy between social media and streaming apps will intensify in 2024 with platforms like Instagram or TikTok evolving into spaces for sharing updates and promoting music while catapulting emerging artists to stardom through viral music challenges.

Social media will continue impacting the way we consume and experience music and how artists engage with fans and connect with their communities through exclusive content, direct interaction, and behind-the-scenes glimpses.

  • AI and music

Over the past 12 months, we’ve witnessed the transformative influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the music landscape.

As an example, we’ve seen YouTube unveiling its AI incubator to empower artists, songwriters, and producers.

Looking ahead to 2024, AI is set to become an integral part of the digital music industry, integrated into creative, distribution, and promotion processes.

As Jakob Höflich, Co-Founder & CMO at Cyanite, suggested to us some time ago, AI is on track to become a cornerstone of the music industry’s evolution.

In the near future, more and more record labels and music distributors will use AI to streamline their day-to-day operations, including catalog tagging and categorization, music mastering, similarity search, and the refinement of music recommendation and personalization playlists.

  • DIY-distribution: White-label platforms

Next year, it’s likely to see independent music companies and artists rewriting the rules of the digital music industry, adopting DIY distribution with white-label platforms offering full control over their musical projects.

B2B white-label platforms, exemplified by SonoSuite, designed to empower music startups, independent record labels and distributors, and established aggregators worldwide, will increase in popularity, allowing entrepreneurs to create and run their music business, manage digital releases, and get total financial control over royalties generated on streaming services.

As the 2023 curtain falls, digital music stands as one of the most lucrative industries within the entertainment sector thanks to streaming.

Looking ahead to 2024, the stage is set for an encore of progress. In SonoSuite, we anticipate new music trends like the continued rise of DIY distribution through white-label platforms, the full adoption of AI to expand musical creation, expression, and promotion, and the increased empowerment of independents.

A new musical chapter starts soon!

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