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…

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