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Predictions 2024: Manan Vohra

February 27, 2024 by Team Downtown

Manan Vohra (wide)

Next up in our predictions series, we welcome Downtown CTO, Manan Vohra...

How do you predict technology will impact the music business and the industry at large in 2024?

While AI models are improving rapidly, I anticipate a significant improvement of tools in music creation by 2024. This shift is similar to the 'prosumer' phenomenon in the professional camera industry, where enthusiastic amateurs, rather than professionals, became the driving force behind the sales of new camera models and equipment, including Adobe suite of products e.g. Photoshop

This change signifies a key moment for the music creation market. It will be fuelled by the democratization of music production, enabled by AI, which lowers the barrier to entry for enthusiasts. As a result, the value of the music creation market is expected to grow, not merely from the traditional avenues of streaming platform consumption, but more so from the intrinsic value placed on creative expression itself i.e ‘pay to express and showcase.

The growth of catalog size and finite human consumption hours will accelerate the introduction of new revenue models that may include artist-centric or micro-transactions models. In 2024, we will experience branched-out pricing experiments across all major DSPs, making licensing deals complex and consequently changes to the royalty calculation models.

On the flip side, socio-economic-political factors such as continuous wars in 2024, rising energy costs, climate degradation on one side of the equation and the heavy consumption of energy by AI technologies on the other, may lead to growing concerns (and rightfully they should) and focus on sustainability in the music industry, including more attention to the environmental impact of tours and events, and ethical considerations in technology use. Ultimately all industries are impacted by macro-economic conditions.

What do you think presents the biggest opportunity for creators and their teams?

MV: Direct-to-fan engagement will evolve into a highly competitive area, where marketing teams will strive to captivate fans through innovative, personalized campaigns. By leveraging data insights and creative strategies, teams can craft campaigns that resonate on a personal level with fans, making each interaction feel unique.

This tailored approach opens up expansive opportunities for monetisation beyond traditional streams. It includes the sale of merchandise, concert tickets, and exclusive content, all of which can be customized to meet the specific interests and preferences of the fanbase. However, to think in this paradigm and move quickly, requires creators and their teams to upskill. You simply cannot solve the problems of tomorrow with the tools of today.

Online platforms for learning and skill development in music marketing, GenAI and data analytics are more accessible than ever (Udemy, Coursera etc.), allowing creators and their teams to continuously learn and adapt to the changing industry. 2024 should become a year to learn, un-learn and prepare to ride the uncertain, but, giant consumption waves for everyone in our industry.

What is the most important thing the industry should look to achieve in 2024?

MV: Come together to fight streaming fraud and protect artists' rights and identity (voice) from big-tech AI processing.

Your artist or business to watch in 2024.

MV: I don’t know who is listening to him other than drone and noise enthusiasts, but, here please take my money > Alessandro Cortini