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Entertainment Industry Trends:
Streaming, Discovery, and the Rise of Superfans
At the recent SXSW Music industry event in Austin, Rob Jonus from Luminate presented the top 10 trends impacting the industry over the past year.
The trends highlighted the continued dominance of streaming, changing dynamics in content discovery, and the growing importance of superfans.
Streaming Supremacy
Global on-demand audio streaming grew a remarkable 22% in 2023, crossing the 4 trillion streams mark for the first time. genres like Latin music (up 24%), K-Pop and Afrobeats (up 26%), and country (up 24%) were major drivers. Streaming's ubiquity was further evidenced by over 103,000 new tracks being uploaded daily to streaming platforms.
Shifting Discovery Patterns
With a proliferation of content across media, discovery remained a key challenge in 2023. Multi-language listeners turned to movies, TV shows, video games, and social platforms like Discord to find new music. The "Spider-Verse" soundtrack exemplified how visual media opens discovery pathways across markets.

For Gen Z, short-form video apps like TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram Reels became go-to sources.
Rob Jonus, CEO - Luminate at SXSW 2024
Super Fans Take Center Stage

As the industry seeks new growth, the highly engaged "super fan" segment took the spotlight. Making up 18% of U.S. listeners, these multi-platform consumers spend 68% more on music monthly and 126% more on merchandise than average.

Independent retailers and direct-to-consumer channels benefited from super fans' physical music spending habits.
Other trends covered included the growing share of non-English music content, challenges around rights metadata, and debates over categorizing "functional" ambient music. The continued rise of female artists like Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, and the "Barbie" film were also highlighted as major cultural moments.

As the industry evolves, Luminate's comprehensive data analysis illuminated where music, film, and TV intersected with consumer behavior in 2023.

Streaming's dominance, along with new discovery trends and the importance of super fan audiences, emerged as key forces shaping entertainment's future.
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