My hopes, dreams, and predictions for music in 2020.

Everyone has probably spent at least a few seconds over the last couple of days wondering what the new year will bring. I have a few thoughts on the topic when it comes to music.

1. Streaming

Hope: That subscriber to Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music et al won’t get hit with a price increase.

Dream: Musicians begin to get a better deal when it comes to royalties and payouts.

Prediction: Subscription fatigue. Too many accounts, too many passwords, too many varied offerings. Time for things to consolidate.

2. The State of Alt-Rock

Hope: That the current generation of indie musicians rediscover the glories of the electric guitar and start to rock out like their ancestors.

Dream: Rock fans finally adopt streaming in a big way forcing the record labels to spend more on promotion and marketing of rock acts.

Prediction: With both a contentious US presidential election coming up and Brexit a fait accompli, music will get angrier and hard.

3. The Music Industry

Hope: Vinyl sales will continue to rise, even just a little bit.

Dream: Artists get paid fairly.

Prediction: Canadians will buy fewer than 5 million CDs this year. Weekly streams will exceed 2 billion by the second half of the year,

3. Music Tech

Hope: More people will discover (or re-discover) the joys of music in true high-fidelity

Dream: High-Resolution Audio will become standard offerings from all the music streaming services, including iTunes.

Prediction: People will continue to settle for sub-standard audio in the interests of convenience.

4. Radio

Hope: That someone has the fortitude to finally try a new format aimed at millennials.

Dream: Canada figures out what to do about the future of AM and FM now that HD-Radio is basically dead. Is there a chance we could revisit DAB in order to catch up with the UK, Europe, and Australia? Probably not, but I can dream, can’t I?

Prediction: Radio will continue to be popular, powerful, and profitable. No one will make too many radical evolutionary moves until we figure out what 5G tech will mean.

5. New Rock Artists to Watch in 2020

Canadian: POESY, Nikki’s Wives, Kasador, ren

International: Inhaler (Ireland), Squid (UK), Fever 33 (US), Beabadoobee (Philippines by way of the UK), Sorry (UK), Sports Team (UK)

Anyone got anything else? Leave a comment.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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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