Welcome to Music Business Worldwide’s weekly round-up – where we make sure you caught the five biggest stories to hit our headlines over the past seven days. MBW’s round-up is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximise their income and reduce their touring costs.
It was a big week for stats this week, with the global music business treated to the publication of two important sets of numbers from two prominent music entities.
Yesterday (March 23), Spotify updated its Loud & Clear website, revealing what artists earned from its service last year.
One headline figure from the update: over the course of 2021, Spotify claims to have paid out $7 billion (across publishing and recorded music) to music industry rights-holders – up by around $2 billion on the “$5 billion-plus” that Spotify previously said it paid out in 2020.
MBW dug a bit deeper into Spotify’s new numbers and found some jaw-dropping statistics, like this one: of the 8 million artists on Spotify’s platform, 5.4 million – or just over two-thirds of artists on the service – have released fewer than 10 tracks to date.
And, of the 2.6 million artists on its platform with more than 10 tracks, according to Spotify, just 165,000 acts are popular enough to also have more than 10,000 monthly listeners.
This week’s other set of head-turning numbers came from global recorded music body IFPI, whose Global Music Report revealed that the global record industry generated $25.9 billion last year.
One of the highlights from IFPI’s latest report, was that annual paid-for streaming revenues increased by $2.2 billion to $12.3 billion last year.
Ad-funded streaming platforms (including video services) generated $4.6 billion in 2021, according to MBW’s calculations based on IFPI numbers. That was up 31% year-on-year (versus $3.5bn in 2020), representing an annual increase of $1.1 billion.
Elsewhere, on Monday, Warner Music Group announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Middle East and North Africa-focused music distributor Qanawat Music.
The news confirmed a report from MBW last week that Qanawat would be music’s next big-money buyout, with our sources telling us that Warner Music Group was favorite to acquire the distributor.
Also this week, Mushroom Group and AEG Presents unveiled a new leadership structure for Frontier Touring, while veteran Us music exec Patrick Moxey signed a “global strategic alliance” with Warner Recorded Music for two key record labels in his new label group.
See below for what went down this week…
1) SPOTIFY JUST DROPPED A STAT THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING ABOUT HOW YOU SHOULD JUDGE THE STREAMING ECONOMY
On the latest episode of Music Business Worldwide‘s Talking Trends podcast, MBW founder Tim Ingham responds to a new set of statistics released by Spotify about what artists earn from its platform
Those stats, published on Spotify’s Loud & Clear site, reveal that 16,500 artists generated over $50,000 in royalties from Spotify in 2021.
But Ingham argues this wasn’t the most revealing piece of data issued by Spotify.
He instead focuses in on a number buried towards the bottom of the Loud & Clear site: Spotify estimates that around 200,000 artists on its platform are “professional or professionally aspiring”.
2) ‘FREE’ MUSIC STREAMING PAID THE RECORD INDUSTRY $4.6BN IN 2021… AND OTHER KEY INSIGHTS FROM THE LATEST IFPI GLOBAL MUSIC REPORT
The global recorded music industry saw its wholesale revenues increase by USD $4.0 billion in 2021, according to the IFPI’s latest Global Music Report (GMR).
That was a significantly larger year-on-year increase in global industry revenues than we saw in either 2020 (+$1.5bn) or in 2019 (also +$1.5bn).
In fact, it was a larger YoY bump than we’ve seen at any point in the past two decades, according to IFPI data.
Last week, MBW reported that music’s next big-money buyout would be Qanawat Music, which operates as a music distributor across the Middle East and North Africa.
Our sources told us that Warner Music Group was favorite to acquire Qanawat Music.
On Monday (March 21), Warner has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the distributor.
Australia and New Zealand-based concert promoter, Frontier Touring, has unveiled a new leadership structure for the company.
Frontier says that the new structure has been created to “ensure the legacy, mission, and culture of Frontier is preserved and nurtured” following the passing of its founder Michael Gudinski in March 2021.
Established in 1979 by Michael Gudinski, and part of the Mushroom Group, Frontier Touring is one of the most prominent touring companies in the Southern Hemisphere.
In 2019, Frontier entered into a strategic joint venture with AEG Presents.
5) PATRICK MOXEY LAUNCHES LABEL GROUP, INKS GLOBAL STRATEGIC ALLIANCE WITH WARNER FOR HELIX AND PAYDAY RECORDS
Patrick Moxey has launched a new label group and has signed a “global strategic alliance” with Warner Recorded Music for two key record labels.
The agreement, which encompasses Payday Records and the newly created Helix Records, will see Warner Recorded Music handling global digital distribution via its independent services arm ADA Worldwide, and includes the option for the parties to co-sign new repertoire.