10 Dire Predictions for Music in 2014

The Toronto Star’s John Sakamoto offered up these five predictions about how music will get worse in 2014.  The full article can be found here, but this is your executive summary.

1.  People who have no business trying to surprise us like Bowie and Beyonce will try anyway–and fail.

2.  Canada will continue be left out of a large chunk of the streaming music revolution (cf. sector leaders Spotify and Pandora)

3.  An increasing gap between the tech-savvy and the Luddites when it comes to accessing, possessing and listening to music.

4.  The return of the countdown show.

5.  The tyranny of choice in an era of too much music.

I’d like to add my own pieces of pessimism:

6.  Sales of recorded music will continue its year-over-over declines.  When the biggest-selling album in the US in 2013 was Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience with just 2.43 million copies, you know things are ugly.

7.  Pop music will continue to be written by committee (see the songwriting/producer credits for Britney Spears’ latest album) leading to increasing homogenization of the pop sound.  The growing use of hit-predicting computer software to minimize risk of releasing a stiff will only make things worse.

8.  The music industry will continue to do a lousy job of creating new superstars.   More and more fans will be attracted to the masters of the past simply because they’re better than so many of today’s new artists.

9.  Most–but not all–radio companies will continue to underestimate the growing impact of the Internet on their over-the-air terrestrial broadcasts.  Pay close attention to the rise of the connected car.

10. Tool still won’t release a new album.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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