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Music catalog management: Creation and releases
July 1, 2020

Music catalog management: Creation and releases

Since the live industry had gone to a full stop, releasing music has been a challenge to tackle, by all music industry actors, no matter the size of the targeted audience. For this last article about livestream and its impact on music releases, I wanted to take a look at the creativity compared to the strategies for distribution. For professionals, this means online music catalog management is changing.

How is artistic creation impacted by lockdown and, consequently, by the new releasing strategies? In the near future, business won’t get back to usual. So which trends should we be looking at to better fit the public needs?

Music catalog: creativity rises for more content

First off, how is artistic creation impacted by lockdown? Did the sanitary crisis impact our habits of creating and consuming music on the long term? With a public receiving tons of content on streaming, some trends might be there for a long time.

From the beginning of lockdown a few months back, artists felt the need to get closer to their audience. There is no secret: if livestream rose that high and that quick, it means content spread fast, and a lot of new tracks were made pretty quickly. Artists have been productive, as we talked about here on the new releasing strategies, here on livestream as a gateway to community and here on support dedicated to musicians.

Also, innovation has been helpful in these times too. Many apps and tech solutions were thought to learn and practice at home. This period of time could have been seen as a proof of concept for some of them: if you’re not practicing at home now, when? Solutions are getting even simpler to allow DIY compositions to be done at home. Online tech solutions are building the ground to the future of music industry, for the artists, as well as for the industry itself (as we are working on right now at Reprtoir).

How lockdown impacted music catalog releases?

So more content means more releases? Not really. The main point is that either a lot of content (new or not) was shared online and broadcasted for free, or it was held up waiting for a better momentum to be released.

We talked about different strategies to release music (or not) a while back. But the growth of music catalogs is not the only aspect to take in account, you also need to think of your artist, their will to work out new ways to connect with their audience and their feelings about going live online.

Many artists and professionals were urged to release though. Since many big actors delayed communications, there is room for emerging artists to release new music on streaming platforms. And this is why a lot of distribution platforms saw an opportunity to be heard. Livestream has helped staying in touch with the fans, but it also means new promotion opportunities. Now is the time to get a bit more creative and start using new ways to market releases, launches using audio (podcast), video (livestream) and taking advantage of the streaming platforms’ new features.

What to expect now for music catalog management?

So now, what are the upcoming trends? How is livestream going to impact the strategy for labels and publishers? Releasing music means rethinking marketing strategies and being innovative. These two aspects might be the main trends to look at to anticipate the evolution of the sector.

If touring and live music have stopped now, it will come back, permanently changed. The future of live music will determine a lot in releasing strategies and, consequently, in artistic creativity. The links between artists and promoters, venues also made a few good alliances to gather donations, to keep their businesses afloat as much as possible.

Models were adopted pretty fast by artists, partnering with brands, venues, promoters and releasing new content in new ways. The music industry was able to be very resilient using paid platforms, donations and brand partnerships. This means a lot of young digital and innovative actors within the music industry should be helping with new strategies to study.

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