6 Music Business Trends You Need To Pay Attention To

2Music manager Jake Udell shares six insights gleaned from a recent dinner hosted by the music/tech investment group Raised in Space and attended by several music industry heavy-hitters, as well as exploring what they can tell us about the future of the music business.


Guest post by music manager Jake Udell of Art of Manager

I had the pleasure of attending a dinner hosted by Raised in Space last night.

It was the most well-organized event of its size I’ve been to – From the diverse curation of 16 power players across our industry to the fact a visual artist was caricaturing the evening’s entire conversation on a huge white sheet of paper, which will be given as framed posters to everyone to commemorate the evening. 

My favorite aspect of group dinners is when there is one conversation at the table as we did at our 40under40 dinner last year – One conversation stimulates the communal aspect of belonging we all crave.

Last night, Zach and Shara did a fantastic job of having the dinner be one conversation the entire time – Here are six insights we discussed. The below points are not group consensuses – They’re individual’s opinions I found interesting, true, or both ????

1/Artists want to work with… people who make things happen (for them). Artists will prioritize working with people who make them feel invincible over transparency and or ownership.

2/There is an abundance of… data. The biggest companies are at war over it. However, does anybody really know what to do with it? What tools exist to support turning data into actionable opportunity? These tools are being built. It’s time to think about data strategy.

43/It seems like the industry thinks… too short term. Getting stuck innovating in the now for the immediate tomorrow… Believing each moment is the moment of innovation versus thinking where or how things will really be 5-10 years from now. 

For example, Rob Light pointed out that the iPad was invented nine years ago – The kids born with an iPad in their hand are now in second grade. What will happen as a generation who has never read a newspaper or listened to terrestrial radio enters the paying consumer market? As an industry, do we think about how that massive evolution will change our business as opposed to what genre will be here one year and gone the next? i.e. EDM, from start to finish… 6 years? Dance music still exists, but it’s not popular like it was.

4/How many bodies are buried… underneath the major music companies? The failed artists. The ones who succeeded mediocrely and got lost in the shuffle. But is it intentional? Did anybody get in the industry to see or help artists die? No. Sure, many do artists get swallowed up by a larger system, but how many of those artists are truly good enough? Do they really have the one track or an electrifying live performance to stop you dead in your tracks? Do they have the star power to corral you every day with their personality over social media? Some do, but the reality is, most are not capable of moving the masses… Even “the industry” believes in them.

5/What’s the best way to deal with… mental health? Sometimes it can be quite basic. One artist recommended started with “asking how I’m doing” as opposed to “laying ten sessions on me”. I’ve learned the same. We can all more of checking in on our artists’ well-being.

6/Since we won’t be remembered (c’mon even William Paley and Walter Yetnikoff aren’t and they yielded way more power than any executive today), our legacies are only as strong as our ability to use the little power we have to pass down opportunity to those we believe in.

Thanks again to Shara and Zach and their co-pilots Sammy and Conor for hosting an incredible evening… I grabbed a Raised in Space sticker off the table and plan to put it somewhere special to remember what is possible when we marinate our ideas in the future and nourish them with our loving commitment to making them become reality.

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