5 Predictions for Independent Artists in 2014

By Chris Mooney
TuneCore Sr. Director of Artist Promotions and Strategic Relationships

As the new year approaches, people around the world are making lists of resolutions—hit the gym more than once a month, replace some of the takeout with home cooked meals, make smarter financial decisions—the list goes on.  While we too are putting together our list of resolutions, we’re also thinking about where the music industry is headed for independent artists in 2014.

This year we saw incredible growth in streaming music and ever-increasing revenue for independent artists, especially for songwriters from publishing royalties.  So what’s next? Here are our five music industry predictions for 2014…

1. Artists focus on monetization.

Artists will turn to Publishing Administrators to secure new sources of revenue with a focus on collecting money from YouTube for both their sound recording and composition. In doing so, artists will focus even more attention on YouTube as a social network and place for engagement, contesting, and announcements.

2. More artists start promotion early with pre-orders.

Pre-orders will no longer only be the territory for high-profile artist releases. More artists will embrace the ability to include a link to purchase on iTunes during the marketing period leading up to release date. It is easy now to offer fans instant grat tracks with their pre-order purchase. Plus, all of these pre-order sales register on release day, helping albums rise up the iTunes charts.

3. Management is the new indie label.

Managers assemble hand-picked teams to support their artists, hiring the publicist, selecting their distribution partner, connecting bands with a booking agent, contracting special marketing companies… and based on their success, the band and manager have a real choice to maintain their independence or they also have a much more valuable story to bring to a major label when considering a deal.

4. Streaming radio becomes something to watch.

iTunes Radio is extremely convenient for users, and while it still needs to improve on its discovery suggestions and listener experience, with a few adjustments, it will usher in a fierce challenge to competitive streaming services.

5. Market through video.

Vine and Instagram video will grow in importance for marketing by bands and artists. The video elements allow creative messages with music to fans. These posts are much more capable of “going viral” compared to a Facebook post.

What are your music predictions for the new year?  Let us know in the comments…

  • PrettyMFHandSum

    Prod.by FKi & Dun-Deal 2014 NEWMUSIK PLAYNOW!!!! soundcloud.com/pmfh/drippin-auc3 i PREDICT HAWAII AND I WILL TAKE OFF IM A STORM OF MEDIA FRENZY. WE WILL BE ON THE TOP ON THE RAP INDUSTRY

    • ThaREALDook

      promoting on messageboards are not successful avenues of promotion..

      • Christopher Bell

        Amen. Probably the WORST thing you could actually. Spot on brother.

        • ThaREALDook

          I mean honestly there’s not many people who will browse comment sections of blog sites to find the next big thing… an I’m not stopping my browsin to listen

          • Christopher Bell

            Amen brother. So true.

  • http://www.a-lyric.com/ alyric

    The roles of management and labels continue to evolve, and could well be very productive for everyone concerned. It’s a two-way thing, as I see labels also adding booking services and social media mgt to their daily tasks.

    The trick will be in ensuring that all these parties effectively talk to each other.

  • Sonic Foxx

    HERE’S A PREDICTION!!!…Hopefully Tunecore won’t do a YOUTUBE and cut out my chances of promoting this song with adverts direct to youtube users and many others in 2014…..NOW THAT WOULD BE A NEW YEAR MIRACLE……PLEASE google
    “THE CHILD” by THE SIMON STEVENS PROJECT…it’s just come online..a
    fan sent this to us regarding THE CHILD..who needs critics.

    “LISTENED TO THE
    CHILD..LOVED IT!!!..VERY DARK, VERY GRITTY. SOME PEOPLE WOULD “NOT”
    WANT TO HEAR IT. i.e. BULLIES FROM THE PAST..THOSE WHO HAVE CHILDREN OF THEIR
    OWN AND STILL HAVE A CONSCIENCE. BELIEVE ME IF THEIR CHILD IS BULLIED, THEY
    WILL FEEL ANGER AND SHAME IN EQUAL MEASURES. WE CANNOT TURN BACK THE CLOCK. WE
    CAN ONLY HOPE WE CAN TEACH OUR CHILDREN RIGHT FROM WRONG..”THE CHILD”
    AN EDUCATION IN ITSELF..WELL WORTH THREE MINUTES AND SEVENTEEN SECONDS OF AN
    INTERNET “SHARE”. ”

    PLEASE HELP US SPREAD
    THIS SONG OUT FAR AND WIDE AND IT’S MESSAGE FROM A PARENT TO A
    CHILD…..”WE DO CARE!!…WE KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH!!..WE LIVED
    THROUGH BULLYING AND SURVIVED!!..THERE IS HOPE!!…AND MOST IMPORTANTLY,
    BULLYING AND RIDICULE IS “NOT” ACCEPTABLE!!!”

    SONIC FOXX

    • ThaREALDook

      not the way to promote … message boards arent successful

      • Christopher Bell

        What are these people thinking?
        1. You are not unique. There is nothing you are doing that any other seriously dedicated(and probably harder working) artist is trying to do this very moment.
        2. If you want to gain attention to your music you should not have to seemingly BEG people to do so. Here’s a hint. Offer the listener something for a change. Do not make everything about YOU all the time. People are smarter than that. They will see right through your disingenuous self-promotion.
        3. TYPING IN ALL CAPS IS UNPROFESSIONAL AND ANNOYING :)

  • rocknext

    Artist expect to focus on words & music in 2014 and yes the A & R role is redefined nicely in 2014. The cloud, browser, playlist, search, messaging & gamification of emerging artists are the key to artist survivorship in 2014 and beyond. Prediction: Engagement; proof of likes and shares will = profits in 2014, advertorial sponsored links and explosive momentum tools in the existing app world will drive success: RockNext!

  • TheNewR&B
  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/colinpalm H.E. Colin Palmer

    Well, for me, I see Artists now no longer have to struggle to survive. All that would have been well taken care of by the Publisger-Admin General. (Tunecore or UMPG. nO MORE DEBTS. aLL FULLY PAID FOR AND/OR FORGIVEN. And all artists the world over never have to deal any longer with the antiquated pay cheques etc etc. No dangerous bank accounts! BitCoin would then have saved our glorious existence.(http://www.bitcoin.com) A willful co-existence in a brand new MONEYLESS Global Society. RXLD1-SkyBBC( – @ Remlap Studios Online (http://www.geocities.ws/colinpalm)

  • @Raggadatkalm

    D.Y. ENT. BREAKING NEWS:
    The Official Music Video For D.Y. Ent’s Songstress $tekaly (Tha Singer), Entitled#ReflectionHas OFFICIALLY Released On VEVO!!
    Reflection Music Video: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vxdwr_73hL0
    Also, Tha Hot$hot’s #TropicalLimelight Video TEASER Has Been Released On VEVO!!
    Tropical Limelight Video TEASER:

    Subsribe At:
    http://www.youtube.com / StekalyThaSingerVEVO & http://www.youtube.com / ThaHotShotVEVO
    http://www.stekalythasinger.com
    http://www.thahotshot.com
    #TeamDYEnt
    #ArtistsUnited
    #2nd2NoneMusic
    #MoneyMasonMedia
    #CaniFilms

  • Christopher Bell

    I could not agree more with these predictions. Had quite the same feelings myself actually. I guess my prediction would be that your predictions will come to fruition! Fingers crossed

  • SONICrider

    Now a days main stream started often as independent artist; don’t let money take over your creativity! Independent ideas have an important task influencing the main stream of tomorrow! A constant change is driven by the once who do they belief.

    The digital age is the basis for a independent revolution; traveling around the world is easy via Twitter, SoundCloud, etc. TuneCore helps independent artist; the once who are worried are labels and agencies.

    2014 will be another year in the evolution of the independent artist; creating music, lyrics and art that in the end will change the world into a better place.

    All the best to all the independent artist out there and together we are unbeatable!!

  • Amill

    I have to disagree to a point! Indie artists also have no or limited skills, besides making a beat which any kid could do all this new age indie stuff is cool however still long from professional results imagine Kanye the king of fake and sampaling with out major backing he sucks either way but has also earned 80 mill making garbage so again he rode the oh its so easy boat by ripping off damon dash so politics,skills,time,creativity is what it takes as well as money and a major label macklemore is a great example he retains rights hiwev warner gets a third ryan and fat boy get thirds as well so not quite what everyone makes this out to be.

  • Kadri

    I think that Tunecore needs to work closely with Vevo for Video distribution.

    • King

      I agree with that

  • nate

    solodaartist.com