So what can we look forward to in 2014? Let's start with a look at music:
Music - 2014 looks like it could be a year of SURPRISES.
Pop: 2013 saw 3 big divas return with Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Beyonce. Plus we also had lots from the last group of divas - J-Lo, Mariah, and Britney, trying -- but not in peak form. Rihanna continued to be a presence as she gears up for a 2014 release - this could be a big year for her. Taylor Swift will also be releasing in 2014 but it looks like there could be room for a new pop-diva to emerge over the Summer. Justin Timberlake was also a big presence in 2013, which will likely fade in 2014 as the best from his releases has already hit. Will Maroon 5 be able to pull in another big round of huge pop songs? Will Bruno Mars pull in a bigger presence? Then there's Miley and Bieber boy - is it about 'them' or their music. While there are plenty of big stars here you can sense the timing is there for some big new faces to emerge.
The Alt - Indie Rock movement seemed to have a healthy presence in the overall music stages throughout 2013. It started the year with Imagine Dragons, Lumineers, Monsters and Men, and Fun. Then we witnessed Capitol Cities and Lorde finish off the year strong. Will this movement pull in some fresh faces for 2014? Will we see follow up power from some of the artists here or are they one hit wonders?
Rock - Not much going on here, but will 2014 pull in a big surprise act that rocks the house? The potential is there for a group with some 'indie cred' to break through here with the right look and feel.
Country - While Pop music still has a lot of the music spotlight at center stage Country keeps building more and more younger stars. It seems like we get 2 or 3 fresh faces every year that seem to emerge and grab the spotlight. There is no reason for this to change in 2014. Nashville has built a great team that works well with Radio, covers TV well and has kept up with all the social media tricks. Their model is also not built solely on selling CDs -- touring, endorsements, videos, fan engagement, and celebrity all play big roles and Nashville seems to execute all these roles consistently.
Rap - Hip Hop - It seems like we always have new faces here to watch - but the need to push the edge all the time often limits the reach here. The movement of the last 4-5 years of more and more Hip Hop integration into pop music seems destined to continue - it's become too valuable and important. But at the same time there seems to be an authentic underground that closes itself off.
Dance - It seemed like there were clear signs of a breakthrough for Dance music, but it seemed flatten out as 2013 rolled on.
One trend to keep an eye on is 'music with a message.' Just go back and look at Blurred Lines, Royals, and many other big hits that had a lot of lyric power in them.
A year to keep your eyes and ears open you can almost smell a change or a surprise in the 'music weather' brewing.
There are lots of other topics to look at for 2014. Over the next week let's take a look at 4 other areas that could be important 2014 areas. Happy New Year!!!!!!!