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Top Trends in Production Music

The music production landscape is continuously evolving and 2024 has already proven to be an exciting year filled with new trends and opportunities. Here's a quick look at the trends every production music producer should watch out for.

Global Growth

The mainstream global music industry is booming, with revenues increasing in the top ten music markets: the US, Japan, UK, Germany, China, France, South Korea, Canada, Brazil, and Australia. However, there's significant growth in emerging markets that producers should not overlook:

Latin America: The music industry market in Latin America grew by 25.9%, with Brazil and Mexico leading the way.

Sub-Saharan Africa: This region saw a staggering 34.7% increase, signalling its rise on the global music scene.

Middle East and North Africa: These regions experienced a 23.8% growth rate.

Asia: Dominated by Japan, China, and South Korea, Asia's music industry grew by 15.4%.

Conversely, the traditionally strong markets of the US, Europe, and Australasia saw only modest growth demonstrating that there are more opportunities than ever in these rapidly expanding markets, especially in our increasingly remote work-friendly world.

As production music and soundtracks are now also being consumed as mainstream releases, such markets are gaining relevance for the ever expanding production music business, in particular for smaller companies and individuals whose fortunes can change overnight with the right opportunity.

searching the forest of production music to achieve sync and the best trends to help in 2024

Lossless Audio

Lossless audio is becoming a major focus for streaming services like Tidal, Apple Music, and Amazon Music HD. Even Spotify which has offered higher streaming rates for many years, is joining the trend with its upcoming Spotify HiFi service. For music producers this shift means a new standard of quality and a chance for listeners to experience their work as they intended, much like the advent of the compact disc when most consumers were listening via cassette tapes.

As headphone technology advances, delivering high-quality, lossless audio is crucial for producers especially when considering that in 2022, the US music industry saw 75% of its revenues generated through internet based streaming and more and more of us now listening to music whilst on the move. Despite the pop industry including many incidents of lo-fi production, production music creatives must embrace high sound quality to stay on the cutting edge of this trend and meet the growing demand for superior sound quality.

Sync Music

With the explosion of content creation, the demand for sync music is higher than ever. Music producers and songwriters can capitalise on this by creating sync-ready tracks that cater to various media needs.

Sync-ready tracks, often used as background music, should feel universal and fit broad themes and genres. Additionally, sound effects are in high demand, presenting a lucrative niche for talented producers and foley artists. To get started in this field, consider signing a publishing deal or collaborating with companies specialising in library music but create a varied portfolio to illustrate your skill set as just like the mainstream industry, you need to demonstrate your creativity, initiative and ability to deliver before anyone will invest their time and energy into your career. Organise your files meticulously, and offer alternative versions and stems to increase your chances.

Spatial Audio

Spatial audio is slowly gaining traction, with major players like Netflix and Apple incorporating this technology into their productions and in Apples case, hardware. Just like traditional surround, it creates an immersive, 3D audio environment, enhancing the consumer’s emotional connection and experience. Steven Wilson, with multiple Grammy nominations to his name for Best Surround Sound Album, recently (May 2024) demonstrated his music through a 21 speaker PMC system taking immersive audio to new levels.

For producers, spatial audio brings the challenge of mastering new recording and production techniques to truly engage with the exciting possibilities that it brings and now that some mobile devices are able to reproduce it through standard stereo headphones, it is coming into the mainstream at an ever increasing rate.

Binaural Audio: Uses special microphones to capture audio from two locations, simulating the natural way we hear things in reality. Using specific angles and microphone types, binaural really can recreate ‘being there’ in standard stereo when listened to within a stereo field such as headphones or a well positioned hifi.

Ambisonic Audio: Captures audio from multiple directions to create a 3D sound field and has long been used for immersive concert recordings in surround sound which place the consumer right in the middle of the crowd.

Object-Based Audio: Involves capturing sound with mono microphones and manipulating it during reproduction. Systems such as Dolby Atmos employ this to great effect using a metadata system for positioning and up to 64 speakers to pin point position audio in a very exciting and malleable way, most often employed in cinematic presentations for truly dramatic effect.

By learning these techniques, producers can tap into lucrative fields such as film, gaming, and virtual reality whilst others are still just working with stereo.

AI and Music Production

Artificial intelligence continues to revolutionise the world and for this blog, music production. Ai-powered tools like algorithm-driven mastering services, Ai instruments and virtual players, audio repair, and Ai-mixing plugins have transformed workflows although many are hesitant to engage fully with them.

With leading tools including LANDR, Magenta by Google Labs, and Neutron becoming widely adopted, the rise of Ai also brings challenges. The controversy over Ai-cloned voices, such as the track mimicking Drake and The Weeknd and a recent legal action by Scarlet Johansson after an Ai app copied her voice, highlights the need for caution regarding intellectual property rights.

As Ai becomes ever more integrated into music production, it is essential for producers to balance innovation with ethical considerations as well as understanding the intellectual property ownership of Ai generated content. Not everything is as it may appear.

Embrace the Future

With 2024 set to be yet another dynamic year for music production, staying informed about these trends and adapting to new technologies and opportunities, can allow music producers to thrive in this ever-evolving industry. Whether it's tapping into emerging markets, mastering lossless and spatial audio, or navigating the complexities of Ai, the future of production music is bright and full of possibilities.



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