MBW shares some not-so-great numbers about music played on streaming services - there are 67.1 million tracks on music streaming services that, in the 2022 calendar year, attracted 10 or fewer streams apiece, globally. These 67.1 million songs represent 42% of the entire catalog of tracks available on streaming services - there are 158 million tracks on streaming platforms. Nearly a quarter (24%), or approximately 38 million tracks attracted - zero plays in 2022.

There were 589 million users of paid subscription accounts at the end of 2022, according to IFPI, the organization that represents the recorded music industry worldwide, MBW reports. This means that 7% of the world's population has a paid music subscription account. Global recorded music revenues grew 9% year over year in 2022, to reach $26.2 billion, IFPI's also noted in their Global Music Report 2023. Streaming continues to be the driving force behind the overall growth. Subscription audio streaming revenues increased by 10.3% year over year to $12.7 billion in 2022, with total streaming - including both paid subscription and advertising-supported - grew by 11.5% YoY to reach $17.5 billion in 2022, and accounted for 67% of total global recorded music revenues. Last year marked the global music market’s eighth consecutive year of growth.

According to Spotify's latest Loud and Clear report, 14,700 DIY artists generated $10,000 across recorded music and publishing royalties on the service in 2022, MBW reports. This means that DIY artists comprised approximately 25.8% of the subset of 57,000 artists who generated $10k+ on Spotify in 2022. However, compared to the previous year, the news isn't that good. In 2021, Spotify helped 15,140 DIY artists generate over $10,000.

Global recorded music revenues grew 6.7% year over year in 2022 to reach $31.2 billion, according to a new report from Midia Research. This marked a significant drop in estimated 24.8% YoY growth for 2021 versus 2020, MBW reports. Streaming accounted for 64.1% of all recorded music industry revenues in 2022, with revenues estimated by Midia to have grown 8.3% YoY, or by $1.5 billion, to $20 billion in 2022.

"Can't make a living" doesn't really resonate
March 16, 2023

First Floor: Streaming should pay more, but how?

"No matter how much cost cutting Spotify and the other streaming companies do, there’s likely only one way for them to increase revenue to a point where significantly higher streaming payouts would be possible: raising prices... Artists need consumers to pay more for streaming, but here’s the question that even the harshest streaming critics often refuse to ask: what if they don’t want to?" - music writer Shawn Reynaldo asks the ultimate question in his latest newsletter. "Consumers didn’t create this system, but in 2023, they are accustomed to it, and if their current spending habits are any indication, they don’t seem terribly bothered by how streaming has negatively impacted artists or larger musical landscape."

The MBW breaks down the numbers Spotify shared in their Loud & Clear report about how much it pays in royalties, and to whom. The number of artists generating $50,000 or more a year stood at 17,800 in 2022, up by 1,300 from the prior year. However, in 2021, that same category grew year-on-year by 3,100, more than double its rate of increase in 2022. The $50k is the amount "generated" by artists, their royalties will inevitably be reduced once they’ve paid their distributor/publishing admin company/publisher/record company a fee, commission, recoupment charge, etc. Still, it's a monthly paycheck allowing the musician a decent living from cre

Spotify revealed on their Stream On event that through December 31, 2022, it had paid more than €34 billion in royalties to record labels, music publishers, and other rights holders since launch, MBW reports. In 2021 the streaming giant paid €7+ billion, which was up from €5+ billion in 2020, which means it will likely reach the €40 billion benchmark this year. Spotify says that “nearly 70%” of every dollar it generates from music “is paid back as royalties to rightsholders, who then pay the artists and songwriters, based on the agreed terms”. Spotify also revealed that in 2022, as many as 10,100 artists from over 100 countries worldwide generated at least $100,000, and 1,060 artists generated more than $1 million.

Lucian Grainge

Music streaming has been the driving force behind the recorded music industry’s return to growth after roughly 15 years of declines. According to IFPI, the global recorded music streaming revenue has increased from ~$0 in 2004 to ~$17 billion in 2021, which is equivalent to the size of the entire global recorded music market in 2008. Universal's CEO Sir Lucian Grainge sent a New Year memo saying the economic model needs to evolve. Jimmy Stone explains why Grainge believes it's time for a change.

Stream me to the end of dance
February 22, 2023

5 Mag on how the majority of dance music today isn't really danceable

"Streaming music has cultivated a new breed of creators who seem to be totally in the dark about what a DJ does in the first place. As a result we have what’s almost a new format of music that broadly fits into the parameters of club music, but will almost certainly never be played in a club — or by any DJ at all" - 5 Mag looks into the issue of dance music today being made for the purpose of being streamed, rather than danced to. "A fairly large number of people who declare themselves making deep house and techno are doing so in ignorance of DJ culture, with music that is almost hostile to DJing".

"The labels are in a constant tug of war with digital streaming providers, who would rather their users listen to tracks that are cheaper to license, or podcasts with zero marginal costs. Artists feel like they can’t break through. Everyone feels squeezed" - Trapital's Dan Runcie points out in his latest memo as he's thinking about the music industry’s business model. "Music is always the first tech medium to be disrupted, but its companies are often the last to adapt to the changes. It could be time to flip that narrative, and it’s better late than never... Any significant change starts with the record labels" - Runcie believes, and offers a few ideas.

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