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Numbers to understand trends in music industry - WR #109
Weekly Roundups
April 1, 2022

Numbers to understand trends in music industry - WR #109

Let’s take a look at the numbers of the music industry’s main actors to understand a bit more about the current trends. From Spotify’s models to SoundExchanges latest milestones, let’s dive into the music business’ latest.

#1. Why are we talking about fake artists?

You probably heard about fake artists here and there during these last few weeks. As you could imagine, it interested us from the beginning. Since 2016, this business of fake artists on music streaming platforms has been flourishing. In the beginning of the week, Music Business worldwide highlighted the independent record company Firefly Entertainment, generating an annual revenue of $7 billion. How? With fake artists.

So how does this business work? Who is or may be involved? Again MBW has been publishing an in-depth description of the process. Very simply put; one songwriter under several pseudonyms, generating various added streams or even duplicating tracks within mixes, see what the (many) strategies are being put in place here.

#2. Universal Music Publishing Group and podcasts 

Let’s reopen the discussion about podcasts being an actor of music discovery: Universal Music Publishing Group has made a deal with the podcast production studio Audio Up. An interesting move towards connecting the two industries a bit more.

The goal: placing tracks on podcasts, creating specific content for these podcasts: “We see podcasting as a gateway to music discovery and hit songs of the future. Our unique blend of music-based content unlocks incredible stories and music by some of the top recording artists in the space.” (Audio Up’s CEO, Gutstadt). On its side, UMPG is looking to catch an additional audience through audio content.

#3. Spotify spotting trends

Being one of the most important companies in the music field comes with perks. Spotify has been publishing some insights on their user research, just as the end of the first trimester of 2022. Their challenge: staying relevant and create engaging experiences onto the platform.

From working with a diverse team to research on design to fit users' habits, Spotify is reinventing its methods to understand their users. Find out more about their strategy here.

#4. SoundExchange gives out its payout numbers

SoundExchange, the digital performance rights organization based in the US, has published its latest numbers. The first quarter of 2022 reaches about $235 million of distributed rights. All in all, it’s around $9 billion of rights distributed by SoundExchange since 2003 (year they became a standalone operation.

These numbers attest to the comeback of performances, slow but steady. The milestone is participating in the rise of SoundExchange, the only appointed actor to manage digital performance rights by the US Congress.

#5. What are fan-powered royalties? 

Let’s wrap up with a few ideas on artists’ revenue with Spotify. According to the platform, 1 040 artists earned around $1 Million during the year 2021. Considering there are more than 60 000 releases per day on the main streaming platform, it seems like a very happy few. So they’re announcing that fan-powered royalties are an interest.

The Loud & Clear (stats from Spotify) of 2021 touched on several topics related to a fairer payment system relying more on fan engagement rather than number of streams. Digital Music News managed to summarize the interesting points.

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