The mood at Music Biz 2017 in Nashville this week was almost ebullient. After a multi-year downturn, things are finally looking up, really up. And the diverse attendees - ranging from labels large and small to artists and managers to streamers and music tech, all sense that a new and perhaps even bigger music business is emerging.
Here are two of the many shifts on display this week:
Hi Res Music Streaming Has Arrived - During several panels and more informal discussions, Hi Res music streaming is finally emerging as a viable way to satisfy and monetize a segment of fans in ways that benefit artists and labels. The shift also presents an opportunity to ad additional value at some will be willing to pay for in the form of credits, lyrics, images and bonus content.
Direct To Fan E-Commerce Can Now Effect Chart Position - Advance direct to fan sales, particularly as part of smartly priced merch bundles, can be the difference between debuting at #20 and #2, shared Stella Psaroudakis, Senior Director Of E-Commerce at Warner Music Artist Services. "Use Facebook to test new merch ideas before you go and order too much," suggested Dash Two's Gino Sesto.
Like many of the other technologies and concepts this week in Nashville, these examples are not revolutionary or even that new. But the industry's evolving understanding of them have matured to a point where they are now driving the music business, rather than just offering a hoped for future,
Think of Spotify circa 2014 vs Spotify 2017, and you understand the mood of many in the industry at Music Biz 2017: tasting success, on point and charging forward.