Current Music Industry Trends

This blog post will focus on current music trends, as well as looking to the future to see where the current trends may take the music industry in the near and far future.

Crowd funding

Crowd funding has become a major part of the current music industry, so what is crowd funding? Well crowd funding or fan funding as its name suggests is a way fro musician or artists or anyone for that matter to be directly supported by their fan base. Sites such as kick starter and pledge music allow creative individuals to be able to fund larger projects, the funding comes from people who actually believe in the individual that has set up the project. Normally bands or artists without the backing of a label need this sort of help to get them through and album or event. But with this is a problem where the people who back these projects don’t really know if what it ends up being will be something that they like so backers have to have a lot of trust in people they do not know personally. Kick starter is a crowdfunding site that allows any sort of project no matter how strange to be backed, big names in music such as de la soul have used kickstarter to fund their own album all by themselves. “Kickstarter is one of those platforms that gives you space to work with people who know you, love you, and support you.” de la soul said this in an interview with kickstarter, it is easy for musicians such as de la soul to have successful kickstarters because they have an already large fanbase that is dedicated, but for smaller artists it might be a big stretch.

Some kickstarter figures:

If a project is successfully funded, Kickstarter applies a 5% fee to the funds collected for creators. Our payments processor will also apply payment processing fees (roughly 3-5%). The complete fee breakdowns are available here. If funding isn’t successful, there are no fees.

$3,051,245,137

total dollars pledged to Kickstarter projects

125,006

Successfully funded projects

12,918,993

Total backers

4,141,955

Repeat backers

38,177,198

Total pledges

Pledge music is a crowd funding platform made for musicians, it allows fans to fund artits and follow their journy through the process of making the album or whatever prjoect is being made. For someone who doesn’t really know anything about the creation of music this could be a really interesting insight for many people and for people who do know about the creation of music, it helps give maybe a different perceptive into it.

  • The average spend per fan on PledgeMusic is $55.
  • 910,000 users
  • $50 mill
  • Their cut is $7.5 mill

As you can see by the first figure $55 is the average spend per fan on pledge which is still quite a lot because pledge only takes 15% of that which is a fair amount.

Some stats

  • For targeted campaigns, PledgeMusic says emerging artists hit and exceed their projected goal 87% of the time. For frontline acts that number ticks up to 90%. Combined they exceed their intended goal by an average of 12%.
  • 88% of fans on the platform buy a physical product, and the compact disc is still alive and well there, with vinyl coming in a close second.
  • Pledge Music artists create over 400 pieces of unique content – behind-the-scenes posts featuring exclusive music, video, and images – each week and a growing number of these are being viewed on our PledgeMusic app.
  • Since 2014, PledgeMusic artists have charted over 130 times on the Billboard charts.
  • PledgeMusic artists have also held top spots on the charts globally throughout 2015 and, within a single week in the UK, Pledge artists held the No. 2 (Bring Me the Horizon) & No. 3 (The Libertines) spots on the UK album charts.
  • The Pledge Music recommendation engine drives up to 10% of pre-sales.

 

Live Music

With the steady decline in recorded music, the live music sector has defenitly taken of in recent years. Almost half (47%) of pubs, clubs, student unions and restaurants featured at least one live act in the past year, and a fifth (19%) of small venues staged gigs at least twice a month, the Live Music Forum poll found. In all, an estimated 1.7m gigs were staged across England and Wales. It seems that many young people would rather go to a gig than a club with it being as acceible as ever. Also with ticket prices rising for bigger venues and even more people going to see live music as ever it is obvious that this huge growth would happen. Most of the money artists are making these days all relies on live music the album is mainley there to promote the tour which will be the big money maker for the artists. But problems have accured becuase of this, one thing in particualr is the secondary market which allows companies such as Viagogo to sell on tickets at a higher price, this is a problem mainly for the people going to shows becuase of how much they raise the price. Companies like Viagogo

Streaming

Streaming is something that has really taken over the music industry recently, more people are now streaming music so much so that they have also stopped buying music physically and digitally. Spotify now has over 100 million users and over 50 million of those are paid subscribers, these figures are incredible especially since it has only really taken off recently. With such amazing figures you would think that spotify would be able to pay the rights owners a fair amount of money. But that is where you would be very wrong. In the case of Kevin Kadish who was the song writer of Meghan Trainor’s all about the bass which was a number 1 in 78 countries was only paid $5,679.00 by spotify. The song had over 200 million streams yet he only received such a small amount from it, in some cases it seems that the consumer may benefit more from streaming than the actual people involved in the creation of said music. Also with spotify as well as all other music streaming companies still not making money and constantly losing millions every year is streaming something that will last? Well even though they lose money they are still very beneficial to the big major labels as it gives lots of exposure and money to them it seems that streaming is a thing that should stay for the sake of everyone involved from the creators to the consumers.

Decline In Music Sales

Image result for recorded music sales

This graph is a perfect example of what the state of recorded music sales are, although out of date it is still very much a relevant graph. It shows the peaks and declines within different formats and as you can see everything is going down, although in recent years there has been an increase in. For example vinyl sales have seen an increase of 53% to reach 3.2 million units sold which is the most sales of vinyl in a year since 1991. In comparison in 2007 there where only just over 200,000 LPs purchased this really puts into perspective how much of a big comeback vinyl is making while CDs for example continue to decline. With a 11.7 per cent drop in 2016 it seems that CDs are on the way out for good. But the vinyl resurgence alone is only a small part of the industry and it alone can’t change the huge dip in recorded music sales. Streaming is on the rise but streaming sites such as spotify are losing millions every year and if they can’t change this it could be an end to streaming the way we know it right now.

As we look to the future it is clear that although slowly people are starting to buy recorded music through vinyl mainly it seems that streaming is what is going to be on top. It grows bigger and bigger every year and it seems to never stop, but who knows what will come of streaming companies as they all continue to lose money but gain users.

 

 

 

Music Publishing

Music Publishing Companies have many jobs that are very important to an artist and a record label. Although most songwriters and artist own the rights to their own music the publishing company looks after the license of the music. They give the music scores to companies for use in films adverts etc. They also collect all the royalties from the sale and distribution  of the music. They help music creators to further the expanse of royalties they can make from their music, because of how many record deals go these days the artists will normally end up with way less money than they earn when you factor in all of the people that help create the music and deserve a cut of royalties, so publishing companies can help give creative artists the opportunity to make extra money, sometimes more from their actual record sales.

Music publishing companies are able to exploit the compositions that they are given because they will have connections in the industry which means they can save an artists lots of time when it comes to contacting companies to request work, and more often than not unless you are already celebrity status you more than likely will get shot down or even worse not get any sort off response.

Types Of Publishing Companies

There are 4 types of publishing companies that you could come across.

  • Major – These are the biggest publishers, all major publishers will have ties with major labels as well as have the most contacts through the entertainment industry. Warner-Chappell is probably the best known of these.
  • Major Affiliated – These are are what you would call an independent publishing company, but they have deals with the majors to handle their licensing administration.
  • Independent – These publishing companies are basically the same as an indie label. They handle their own administration in-house without the aid of one of the majors. They are also self-funded.
  • Writer-Publishers – It is not uncommon for a songwriter to handle their own publishing. If the workload dictates it, they may hire someone to handle to handle their song administration for them, but this person is an employee of the songwriter who gets a salary/hourly rate/flat fee for their work – not a representative from a publishing company that takes a cut of the income.

How Do publishers Make Money

When it comes to making money, the way publishers do it is through licensing fees as well as royalties. Most music publishers will have a 50/50 deal with the person signing the contract, when the deal is signed all money generated by the music gets split 50/50 between the artist and the publisher. At one point publishers would get full rights to the music they signed for life, but now publishing deals are a lot more fair in many ways as the publisher only gets part of the copyright and for only a certain amount of time that would be designated within the contract. But some may argue that 50% is to much to give up, this is a large portion of all your royalties that you need to give up. The question that you should then ask yourself is. Could I do this myself? It certainly isn’t impossible but it would be very difficult as an independent artists to get your music on other platforms without the help of a publisher. What a publisher does is take a lot of stress and time off an artists which would stop them from creating as much music as they wanted, one way to look at it is that even though you have to give up 50% of your royalties, this is money you would never would have seen otherwise. The bottom line is that music publishers can certainly enable you tap into some very lucrative income streams that you otherwise wouldn’t have had, as well as help you manage some difficult jobs. Although you as an artist can certainly handle your own publishing, and thereby keep all of your profits, a good publishing company can potentially take your career to the next level. Publishing deals can indeed be a very good thing, but make sure you understand what to expect from the company and that they are bringing something new to the table that you can’t create for yourself.

PRS

The PRS or performing rights society pays songwriters, composers and the publisher for for when their music is played in public places such in shops or other business. Music is an important part of many business and help create a mood and atmosphere often depending on the time of day or what day of the week it is, these companies are therefore using other peoples intellectual property for profit and so must pay up and buy a PRS licence. PRS is a non profit organisation which means that they don’t take any of your royalties for themselves. If you are a writer you will need to pay  PRS: £100 for writer membership / £400 for publisher membership, including VAT.

MCPS

MCPS or the mechanical copyright protection society which was established in 1924 is a non profit organisation which distrusted royalties to the writers and the publisher of music for the use of their music on different formats. MCPS cost £100 for writer membership / £400 for publisher membership, including VAT. 

There are many flaws with MCPS and PPL as it is impossible to know how many people are playing your music in a shop or what radio station is playing your song and how many times they play it this is especially hard when different countries are involved. This means that you would potentially miss out on money because of the flaws in this system.

Intellectual property

Intellectual property is a law that protects all ideas from being stolen and wrongfully used, only ideas that are physical are classed as intellectual property. For example you could have an idea for a book but until you write that idea down it is not intellectual property. In terms of music it is very important and stops people from claiming music as their own or copying someone else’s music for their own gain, a composer or artist would need to record or notate the idea before it becomes intellectual property unless they do something like this then it is just an idea that hasn’t been manifested and therefore isn’t protected. Intellectual copyright last for 70 years after the death of the creator it was extended from 50 years sometime ago. But these laws have also caused many problems, as some artists or whoever the copyright holder of the intellectual property is can sue someone else if they feel that they have created something that is to slimier to the intellectual property they had created before. A recent example of this is with ‘blurred Lines’ by Robin Thickle, it was thought that the song shared and even took elements from the Marvin gaye song ‘Got to give it up’

Publishing companies are a very crucial part in many artists life and without them many people wouldn’t be able to make a living from the music they love. For this reason it seems that especially in a time when recorded music is no where near as profitable as it was publishing companies are needed more than ever to really give a boost to artists and give them extra income streams.