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How TikTok and YouTube Have Changed the Music Industry Forever Digital platforms, particularly YouTube and TikTok, are transforming the music industry, democratizing music discovery and nurturing an entrepreneurial shift. Here's how the influence of data, podcasts and upcoming tech trends are shaping the industry's future.

By Eric Dalius Edited by Micah Zimmerman

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Music discovery and entrepreneurship are witnessing a paradigm shift — courtesy of the digital era. Platforms like YouTube and TikTok have revolutionized traditional mechanisms, providing an open stage for emerging artists to connect directly with global audiences and redefining the business landscape.

These digital platforms are not limited to connecting artists with audiences. They've fostered a new ecosystem comprising music influencers, reaction channels, cover artists and dance challenge creators, all contributing significantly to music discovery. However, the digital revolution also presents challenges, with artists trying to stand out in a crowded digital space and listeners navigating the overwhelming volume of music.

The digital wave of YouTube and TikTok

YouTube, since its inception in 2005, has emerged as a game-changer. With over two billion logged-in users monthly, it provides a democratic space for artists worldwide, paving the way for music stars like Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran.

TikTok, though a more recent player, has already made its mark as a music discovery platform. Its unique algorithm prioritizes content discovery, allowing artists like Lil Nas X to gain overnight popularity with hits like "Old Town Road." For music enthusiasts, these platforms provide an endless catalog of diverse music genres, styles and artists.

Related: TikTok Is Reportedly in Talks to Expand Its Music-Streaming, Could Take on Spotify

The power of podcasts

Another significant product of the digital revolution is podcasts. They offer a unique platform for music discussion and discovery. They provide an intimate, conversational format for exploring music, the artist's journey, genre impact and the industry's evolving landscape. With shows like "Song Exploder," where musicians break down their songs, podcasts offer a deep dive into music, presenting a richer experience and potentially revealing unheard artists and tracks to listeners.

Related: How to Master the Power of Podcasts in Your Marketing Strategy

Music entrepreneurship in the digital age

Entrepreneurship within the music industry has expanded beyond traditional roles, courtesy of the digital age. Platforms like YouTube and TikTok have democratized music discovery, enabling artists to bypass traditional gatekeepers and reach audiences directly. Consequently, roles such as independent playlist curators, music bloggers, influencer marketers and data analysts have emerged.

Data and analytics have become crucial, offering valuable insights into audience behavior and preferences and informing decisions on marketing strategies and tour locations. For instance, Chance the Rapper utilized these digital platforms effectively to distribute his music, connect with fans and win a Grammy, all while remaining independent.

Future trends and predictions

Emerging technologies and cultural shifts continue to shape the landscape of music discovery and entrepreneurship. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has already made its mark in song recommendations, and its role could expand to music creation. Companies like OpenAI's MuseNet, which generates original songs in various styles and genres, suggest that AI could democratize music creation further.

Virtual Reality (VR) is another trend with the potential to revolutionize the industry. It could transform live music experiences, allowing artists to perform in virtual spaces and fans to attend concerts from anywhere worldwide, opening new revenue streams and making music more accessible to a global audience.

The role of community in music discovery is expected to grow. Trusted curators and influencers could become more important in this scenario, with platforms fostering a sense of community and offering personalized recommendations.

Related: The Benefits of Investing in Talent: How It Impacts the Music Industry and Beyond

On the entrepreneurship front, the ethical use of data will become increasingly critical. As data-driven decision-making becomes standard, organizations must navigate privacy concerns and ensure they collect and use data ethically.

In conclusion, digital platforms have fundamentally reshaped music discovery and entrepreneurship, introducing new roles and making data-driven strategies vital. Anticipated future trends, such as AI and VR's influence, an increased emphasis on community and a focus on ethical data use, further emphasize the importance of adapting to these dynamic shifts. The music industry's future lies in embracing these changes, fostering a sense of community and leveraging technology responsibly to continue discovering tomorrow's stars.

Eric Dalius

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Executive Chairman of MuzicSwipe

Eric Dalius, as the Executive Chairman of MuzicSwipe, spearheads a music and content discovery platform focused on promoting artist visibility and fostering strong connections with fans. Eric also hosts the weekly podcast FULL SPEED.

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