These days, it seems the best time to make money from your music is if you’re very old – or even better, already dead. Such a sentence might well sound ridiculous on the face of it, but a quick look at the trends in the music business today confirms it.

Look at the number of publishing companies and record labels buying the rights to decade old music – in house music, even the likes of Defected are doing it. Look at the amount of music being streamed online that’s called catalogue material. And look at the number of vinyl LP reissues of material from many years ago.

The investment is all going into old music, at the expense of new material. We’re now seeing an entire industry which seems determined to destroy itself – exactly what happens when all the old music has been milked dry and there are no new cash cows in the pipeline? The Honest Broker covered all this in a lot of detail recently.

But one particular section of this post intrigued me – and this was the bit about deepfakes and holograms. This is yet another possibility that the Metaverse offers. Never got to see the likes of David Bowie and Freddie Mercury in concert when they were alive? Through virtual reality, a realistic experience could be created.

The fact someone’s dead has never stopped the music industry from trying to make a profit out of them. Whenever a popular artist passes away, the vinyl reissues or Best Of compilations are never far away. Software could now monitor footage from concerts filmed whilst they were alive and replicate it very successfully. Deepfake technology means this could be even more lifelike.

Anyone who never saw Freddie Mercury in concert might well get very excited at this prospect – not to mention anyone who owns the rights to his music in any form. But for new musicians, this could be yet another hammer blow. Not only would they have to compete on streaming platforms, they’ll also have to compete with their hologram concerts too.

Isn’t it time a serious conversation was had about the possibilities of the Metaverse? This blog certainly thinks so…