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From mainstream to niche - WR #132
Weekly Roundups
September 23, 2022

From mainstream to niche - WR #132

The music industry is operating an interesting shift, and it’s now showing in the way the main companies of the field are operating. Let’s dive into the changes of our habits and work methods.

#1. Kobalt is back with Meta

Well the wait is over, Kobalt’s employees received good news announcing that the repertoire will be up and running again on Meta’s platform. We talked about it back in July, Kobalt pulled their repertoire from Facebook and Instagram when they couldn’t find a renewal agreement with the parent company.

This week, a memo was sent to the team announcing that a deal has been made between Kobalt and Meta. This one comes right after the news that Warner Music Group has been renewing its own deal with the platform.

#2. Warner Music Group is betting on a new model

Lately, the CEO of Warner Music Group (WMG) stated that the company was no longer financially dependent on mainstream artists. Of course, the main artists are still culturally omnipresent and influence a lot of genres, but still. It means that the trend identified by MIDiA Research on fragmented fandoms is settling in more and more.

Interestingly enough, this means that the music field is developing among scenes, smaller genres and niche artists. This is an exciting period of time; there’s a shift happening from mainstream artists towards niche audiences to target. There will still be mainstream artists, but with less impact, and maybe with a less wider reach. For emerging artists, this means more chances to actually reach the right audience, implying the need to be able to create a strong presence and be recommended through algorithms the right way.

#3. The ever changing relationship between artists and labels

An interesting piece caught our eye this week, regarding the evolution of our industry as well. Artists and labels parting ways is always a very specific case, but it seems like this relationship is sometimes not adapted to a long career in music anymore. This piece from the Song Sommelier looks at the trend from artists’ point of view.

Sure, a lot of artists are going to have to build careers in a complex industry, but there’s a new trend to keep in mind; niche genres are taking over mainstream, ever-going artists are bound to disappear. So the business model relying on sure things, reliable successes may not be the way to go anymore. Now the main focus would be building a strong relationship with artists and musical projects to better understand the audiences, the goals, the vision. Which is at the core of our business.

#4. Spotify facing issues of copyright (again)

Copyright infringement and piracy are very familiar to the music industry, and they are no strangers to the mainstream platforms such as Spotify. The new element here is that we’re not talking about audio assets but films.

Lately, on TikTok, users have been raising questions about films available on Spotify. The trend caught the attention of the public and yes: there are unauthorized films that you can see on the platform. How? Users went through the video podcast tool and uploaded the movies there.

Piracy is an Entertainment industry wide issue, and Spotify is not spared in this battle. The content has since been taken down and the company is on the lookout for others.

#5. Some numbers on the music industry in the US

A report from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) stated that the US music industry generated about $7,7 billion in the first half of 2022. Of course, the music streaming share is the major one, but still, it grew less than the previous years.

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