Here’s where I stare into my crystal ball and tell you who will come out the winner.
iTunes streaming vs. Spotify/Mog/Rdio/Pandora/Pono
This will be a landslide. Never bet against Apple. I still remember when I owned a Rio with 64K of memory which was the ultimate music player and then everything changed with the iPod and iTunes. Sure Neil Young will get some PR because of his name for his Pono format but it will just be a niche community, much like vinyl. It would be a huge upset if Apple’s announcement about streaming coming sometime this year does not reinvent how we think of streaming music. It is pretty amazing that this is what we expect from Apple regarding every new release. Speaking of new release, expect to see the iWatch soon
Chris Brown vs. Rihanna – Draw
They will break up. They will have a Twitter fight. They will release new music regarding their relationship. They will profit handsomely with each new announcement. I just hope it won’t be a pregnancy among those announcements. I don’t think the paparazi can handle a Kardashian/Kanye and Brown/Rihanna pregnancy simultaneously.
Radio vs. YouTube
I think people will still turn to radio to know what the hits are but YouTube is creating more hits and radio needs to pay attention. Since it’s release in July of 2012, Psy’s “Gangnam Style” has over 1.1 billion views and yet radio didn’t start playing it until October and it was only the 75th most played track in 2012 for Top 40 radio (according to Mediabase). In case you’re interested the #1 most played track in 2012 was The Wanted “Glad You Came“. I had to look it up because I was not familiar with this song.
Rolling Stones vs. Fleetwood Mac
No matter how many people mock their age (including the Stones themselves) you can’t stop the Rolling Stones juggernaut. People still love the band. People still love Fleetwood Mac but there is not as much fascination with the group especially since Christine McVie still won’t tour. I expect the Stones to sell out their shows while Fleetwood Mac plays to about 90% capacity. I will also predict that no one will mention the ages of Fleetwood Mac.
Album vs. Singles
Winner – Singles
This could be the year the death knell for the album gets louder. I think a few major artists will decide to put out songs instead of albums just to test the waters. If they sell well expect to see songs trickling in more often from your favorite artists instead of waiting 2 to 3 years for an artist to create a fully thought out album. I, for one, will be sorry when this becomes the way music is distributed.