2009 was a banner year for indie music as well. Even though "indie music" has been co-opted by the mainstream to some extent, we are finally beginning to see the emergence of a "musical middle class." Artists are now able to reach an audience without the aid of a record label, and some are actually make a living without donning a paper hat!
I have recently seen several predictions stating that the major labels will finally "get it" in 2010. I don't agree. I think they have found their niche, and they will stick with it. As long as there are pre-teens consuming "High School Musical" sequels, and adults watching "American Idol," the labels will survive. They will have to learn to live with being smaller, and they will never again see the runaway profits of yore.
I predict that we will see the continued emergence of the musical middle class in 2010. I believe we will also continue to see new and innovative distribution channels for music, although we are probably several years away from seeing any of them achieve dominance.
It's an exciting time to be a musician, and I can't wait to see what the future brings. Happy New Year!