New artists like Lil Nas X and Billie Eilish, both nominees for the “Best New Artist” category at the 2020 Grammy Awards, are popular on music streaming services. According to Spotify’s Wrap It Up report, which lists the top streamed artists over the decade on the platform, Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road - Remix” was the fifth most streamed track of 2019 and 17-year-old Eilish’s debut album reached over 6 billion listens.
Platforms like Apple Music (AAPL) and Spotify (SPOT) are giving artists a destination to put their music, but OneRepublic frontman and three time Grammy winning songwriter and producer Ryan Tedder thinks wearables are giving music its moment and is its future.
“Wearables have made music accessible in ways that did not exist before wearables,” Tedder told Yahoo Finance’s The Final Round, adding that Jimmy Iovine, and Dr. Dre, kicked off the wearable trend with Beats headphones.
“I think wearables are going to — you're going to see — if Universal Music is worth $33 billion this year, I think there's a direct correlation actually with wearables and valuations of major music companies,” said Tedder, who admitted to being a late adopter of Apple AirPods, but now he owns five pairs.
“I think there’s a direct correlation actually with wearables and valuations of major music companies,” he said.
Streaming has disrupted the music industry — making it easier for artists to distribute music to consumers. “From the record label standpoint, money is falling from the sky,” he said.
“I don’t even know if we’re halfway to the point of critical mass in terms of the world being on streaming platforms,” Tedder said. “The value of music is only going to increase and I think it’s going to be exponential.”
But it’s still tough for songwriters to make money from streaming. “Streaming doesn't quite pay songwriters enough to make a living, most of us,” he said. “So radio, which is the original method of consuming music, or one of the oldest anyway, is still the predominant way that we get paid.”
Devin Southard is a producer for Yahoo Finance.