Projecting Trends: 2016 - Music, Blockchain, Virtual Reality, Streaming Exclusives, and Bots

No Comments 20 December 2016

Projecting Trends: 2016 - Music, Blockchain, Virtual Reality, Streaming Exclusives, and Bots

By: Bas Grasmayer

What a rollercoaster 2016 has been.

Without even considering the passing away of so many legends, it was an important year for the music business. 2016 was filled of optimism and innovation, with many looking forward and trying to understand the music industry in the years to come.

Many of this year’s most important developments need more time in order to meaningfully contribute to a better industry, but that means 2016 has been a foundational year.

In review, some of the year’s most important trends that we’ll see more of in 2017 and the years to come.

Virtual reality

The start of the year already had people buzzing about the possibilities of VR. People are particularly interested in what VR can do for live performances. We’ve seen VR platform TheWaveVR raise millions of dollars to help artists get on stage in a virtual reality environment. Boiler Room, which you may know from the filmed DJ sets with an audience behind the performers, is in the process of opening a VR venue in London. NextVR teamed up with Live Nation to record real-world concerts so fans can experience them in VR. And Universal and iHeartMedia launched a similar initiative for VR concerts.

While this trend is set to continue, things are not moving as fast as some anticipated. There’s a chicken and egg problem: the consumer hardware is expensive and if there’s not a lot of great content out there, then people will not buy the hardware… and if they won’t buy the hardware, why create content for it? VR set manufacturers have had to cut their sales projections in half in some cases. The challenge is bringing parties together early to find ways to develop the market. One of these ways is the Khronos VR Standards Initiative which includes the likes of Valve, ARM, Google, Intel, NVIDIA, Facebook-owned Oculus and others.

Benji Rogers, who started Dot Blockchain Music, sees an opportunity in making the music business more transparent through VR, as VR will bring new file formats that could adopt new standards for metadata integration.


There have been A LOT of discussions about how the music business can utilize blockchain this year, and there will be many more in the years to come.

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