MIDiA Research’s 2024 music industry projections: The algorithm is not listening

In the month of November, a period that holds particular significance for analysts, the MIDiA Research team engaged in their annual exercise of formulating end-of-year predictions.

This entails the pooling of collective expertise within the MIDiA team to construct a comprehensive set of forecasts. What sets these predictions apart is their unique framework, intricately interwoven with cross-industry trends that are expected to mould the unfolding years.

MIDiA boasts a commendable track record, with an 88% success rate in both their 2023 and 2022 predictions, following up on achievements of 84% and 79% in the two preceding years.

  1. Algorithmic Evolution: The cornerstone prediction, capturing the spotlight, is the declaration that “The algorithm is not listening anymore.” This prophetic statement suggests a paradigm shift where large-scale platform algorithms, once adept at serving users and guiding them closer to personalized niches, are now veering towards content that aligns more with the platform’s monetary priorities rather than user preferences. Users, as a consequence, may perceive a disconnection, feeling that algorithms are no longer attuned to their desires. This trend is anticipated to intensify in 2024, especially among the world’s foremost consumer platforms, potentially leading to user dissatisfaction. However, it also opens a window of opportunity for new platforms that prioritize user needs, sparking a cyclical process of innovation and adaptation.
  2. Consumer Creator Era: If the late 2010s and early 2020s were characterized as the era of the creator, the subsequent years are predicted to usher in the era of the consumer creator. This forecast envisions a proliferation of consumer-focused creator tools across major social platforms and beyond. The democratization of content creation, coupled with the ubiquity of such tools, is expected to shift the dynamics from professional creators to everyday consumers actively participating in content creation. This surge in user-generated content will not only compete for consumption time but will also redefine the very nature of entertainment, where creation becomes a form of entertainment in itself.
  3. Rise of the Threataverse: Amidst the discourse surrounding the elusive metaverse, a more tangible and consequential trend is identified as the threataverse. This refers to the growing trend of social platforms transforming into toxic environments, marked by intolerance, divisiveness, and the proliferation of hate speech. Facilitated by bot farms and covert actors, exacerbated by lax platform moderation policies, these platforms are shifting from spaces designed for sharing diverse opinions to platforms where moderate voices feel increasingly unsafe to express themselves. The emergence of the threataverse is delineated as a defining framework for the contemporary online social world.
  4. Gated Communities: Building upon the ascent of the threataverse, the predictions foresee a subsequent shift from open-social worlds to gated communities. These gated communities, akin to online safe havens, are envisaged as spaces where like-minded individuals can engage in conversations without fear of abuse or attack. The early vision of an all-encompassing, open social world has proven toxic and unworkable. In response, social platforms are anticipated to enhance features supporting gated communities, providing a refuge for users seeking a more secure and congenial online environment. This transition is also poised to benefit fandoms, enabling artists and creators to interact with their fans without the deluge of negative discourse that currently infiltrates open fan spaces.
  5. AI’s Expansive Influence: Amidst ongoing debates surrounding rights frameworks, the predictions emphasize the continued ascendancy of artificial intelligence (AI) technology in 2024. While debates on rights frameworks are expected to persist, AI’s influence is projected to accelerate both in sophistication and adoption. The consumerization of creation is identified as a focal point for AI’s louder impact, with a prediction that creation tools driven by AI will become increasingly accessible to the average user. Beyond this conspicuous influence, AI is anticipated to exert a subtler, more pervasive impact by assimilating into creative workflows across various forms of entertainment. This trajectory positions AI not merely as a specialized tool but as an integral component of the creative process, contributing to tasks ranging from coding for games to generating podcast narration and crafting soundtracks for influencer videos.
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