In the first of our 2024 Predictions series, we welcome the thoughts of Downtown's CEO, Andrew Bergman...
How do you predict technology will impact the industry at large in 2024?
AB: I think we are in the early stages of the next tech revolution in the music industry. The good news is that we are a more evolved, technology-forward industry since the last set of disruptions kicked off 20 years ago. Nonetheless, it will continue to be a bumpy ride and the ramifications of AI are just starting to be felt.
I do believe that ultimately, technology has had a profoundly positive impact on music and the creators we support. I suspect we are entering into a new age of creativity that will surprise and delight us as fans and keep us busy as industry professionals this year and for years to come
What does the future of Music Services look like? How will this benefit creators and their teams?
AB: The future has arrived when it comes to Music Services. The paradigm shift is so thorough that the bulk of the top Spotify Artists last year were signed to indies or to Artist and Label Services type structures at the majors. We have been a major force in putting control into the hands of creators for the first time in the history of the music business. That is a major achievement and something to be proud of. Fortunately, I don't think this is a genie that wants to go back into the bottle.
What is the most important thing the industry should look to achieve in 2024?
AB: The industry has evolved in a remarkable way over the last decade but there are forces that will look to control it and keep the spoils for themselves. Let’s not reverse the positive trends of the last decade!
Your artist to watch in 2024.
AB: I’ve been a fan of improvisational music since I discovered the Blues in my teens. I also love jazz but I guess I have been a ‘jam band’ fan since I discovered the Allmans and the Dead in College. I’m also proud to work with Phish as they embody everything I love about the genre - both in the music and in the community they create with their fans. Today, this scene has never been bigger with existing artists out there consistently and new artists coming onto the scene all the time.
One of the most exciting bands I’ve come across in this genre over the last few years is Goose. I’m sure it’s not ‘overnight success’ from their perspective but it's been amazing to see them go from playing small clubs to playing multiple nights at mid-cap venues in a very short window of time. Hopefully, we’ll get to see them develop over the next 30 years…