Jun 15, 2019

quantity rules, for now

With 3.9 million "creators" on Spotify, and 40,000 tracks uploaded to that platform daily, is it any wonder why we get the notion that there is too much music? Major record labels are signing artists at a rapid pace. Large labels keep signing new artists to keep market share going them and not to the smaller labels. Smaller labels will sign more and more new artists. Does this mean the major labels will sign more artists? Probably. In 5 years new music will most likely spike. Will this  be too much music? One could argue that there is too much music now.

There is a post on musicbusinessworldwide.com that states 18.8 billion dollars was generated in 2018 by the global record industry.

Of the three majors, Universal Music was the biggest winner over the course of the year, pocketing 31% – or $5.82bn of the total $18.8 billion earned by the recorded music industry, seeing its market share increase by 0.6 points to 30.3%.

Major record labels enjoy a combined 69.2% market share. On the other hand, the market share for artists releasing music by the Artist Direct method grew 35% to earn 643 million dollars in 2018.

Artist Direct and independents accounted for 30.8% of market share in 2018. 

More artists will be signed by major labels because of market share.

In 2018 streaming became the majority of record label revenue. Revenue came in at 9.6 billion dollars, up 30%. Streaming is the avenue of growth. The overall engine for growth is streaming. This shift alone is giving artists new ways to market themselves. New, custom-built models are needed to aid artists in development. 

The major record labels will continue signing new artists. New music galore. Why? The major labels do not want to concede market share. 

Quantity not quality. 

This is an old notion that has stood the test of time. I can remember the Mercury Nashville artist roster in 1991. Small. The quality was superb. Some other labels had larger rosters and the quality seemed layered. Their major artists got more attention. That's predictable I know, but some of the second layer artists that had excellent material, were ignored to a degree. This meant several options within a record label's structure as far as single releases, promotion, and marketing.

This "layered" way of doing things is alive and well in the large-rostered record labels. It will continue for about another 5 years. A new model, using more platforms, will be initiated to promote more artists. New platforms will be created. Some will be real good and others not so much. But there you are.

Keep listening. Enjoy.




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