Ready For A New Big Star ... 2016
December 4, 2015
End of 2015... reflection time. The weather comes to mind when I think of this year. Cold, very cold, hot and very hot. Rain, tons of rain (unless you are in the West --drought). Nutty weather and remembering the outdoor concerts that pushed through the storms and played on. One big Country act told me it was the first year they ever had to cancel due to rain.
And there was no shortage of festival music in 2015. It seems to be the fad right now; 2016 will see even more. If you like that kind of thing, you are in style. Everywhere you looked had a festival or was getting one.
Next big thing of 2015: the CMA winners. The Chris Stapleton revolution. Still too early to see if the revolution will be just a shot fired over the bow or a bigger one musically and with radio support. So far, no big radio changes underway, but it's early.
The jury is out on so many subjects really. But the jurors are coming back in soon and 2016 will see great change.
The streaming versus over-the-air broadcasting in radio and TV is the biggest story most don't want to talk about. The online shopping is right behind it. Traditional advertising took some big hits in 2015 and better hold on to your billfold and brick-and-mortar hat in 2016.
Smoke and mirrors may not be enough to stabilize broadcasting revenue in the new year. Things are moving so fast thanks to high-speed Internet, smartphones and different-thinking young people.
Not everyone realizes the speed and size of what's going on. The word "app" will soon be in everyone's vocabulary. IT is where TV is going. Some wonder if there will be actual TV over-the-air broadcasting in 10 years! AM radio hardware is already not simple to find. Will all cars still have it going forward?
Will radio remain the same in its present form? The Taylor Swift audience everyone wanted so much doesn't do much of anything the old school way. Except go to concerts. That remains one consistent in a mudslide of downloads and songwriter rip-off streams.
Breaking out only on radio is no longer an axiom. Stapleton proved that. But you have to be on radio to be mainstream. That hasn't changed. Alternate universes do exist but to play stadiums and get big TV gigs, you need mass appeal ... and radio is mass appeal.
2015 shook the foundations. Social media is diverse and traditional broadcasters were late to the party. Go look at radio andTV websites ... so do them better than others, for sure! Some still doing an awful job thinking this social media stuff is a fad and will just go away. Getting in that Internet country club and being important seems very difficult, but hopefully not impossible.
2016 will be a watershed year for some artists who are getting high mileage. Some of the new artists lacked talent and depth when they hit. Shakedown and shakeout coming in the New Year. You just feel it.
Overexposure on TV and social media has to be discussed. TV can make and break. Social media can, too ... and even faster.
PSY and The Piano Guys to examples of social media and over-the-air broadcasting merging and creating non-traditional careers. "Daddy" is cotton candy junk but will make a fortune ... the Piano Guys are a great example of a brilliant team of video makers/music players and simple hard work with persistence. Go find the Piano Guys videos ... brilliant!
2015 was a hard year for a few debt-strung-out broadcasters. With all the cultural changes and an election year, not to mention terrorism concerns, 2015 is ending like the halftime of a football game.
You've seen a lot but you know the big plays are coming in the 3rd and 4th quarter. Better reinvent yourself in the holiday season. New demands and creativity will be called upon in the New Year. Exciting potential if the cards fall in the right place.
The CRS New Faces for 2016: Brother Osborne, Cam, Chris Janson , Old Dominion and Kelsea Ballerini ... something there for everyone.
"Go Big or Go Home," it is said. Worked for the Star Wars people. Needs to work for the music business in 2016. Better PR ... better music ... more risks ... new moves with a solid foundation of the basics.
2015 was an adventure. A good year overall but one with change, change and more change. Fasten your seat belts all for 2016!