The Face of the New Music Industry

music industry insights Nov 08, 2017

************This article was posted a few years ago and might not be up to date. Stay tuned for newer blog posts. ***************


Things have changed since the late 1990s. One of the starting points of this change was the invention of the iPod. A small device that allows you to bring a lot of music with you where ever you go without the need for bulky CDs. The digital era started. Consumers were now buying their music online to upload it on their new iPod. Illegal downloading was at its peak with more than 60 million users on Napster in 2001. It was so easy for anybody with an internet connection to obtain free music. 

After  10 years of falling, the industry changed again. The streaming platforms were created. Spotify was released in 2008 in Europe. In 2011, they struck a deal with all the majors and released it in the US. he Canada, it took three more years to have it available. 

Where are we now? 
In 2017, for the first time, the number of streams was bigger than digital sales. What does that tell us? Consumers like the subscription model and want to have access to a lot of music for a cheap monthly fee. To be fair, everybody likes to have more for less. 

First, to understand the new music industry, we need some numbers. Thanks to the 2016 Canada Music Industry Report by Buzz Angle Music we know that :

  • Album consumption was up 8,5% 
  • Song consumption was up 60%
  • Streams grew 308,5%
  • Audio streams reach a new record of 22,3 Billion
  • Physical album sales were down 12,9%
  • Overall album sales were down 18,2%
  • Digital album sales were down 24,6% and digital song sales were
  • down 22,2%
  • Pop genre represents the top genre with 17,3% of the total album
  • consumption and 18,2% of total song consumption
  • Rock songs were the most streamed songs in 2016 with 26,2% of all streams
  • 4 of the top 8 selling albums were by Canadian-Born artists

Here is what we can get out of those numbers. The music industry is going well in Canada. Thanks to streaming platforms, artists have a bigger audience than ever. Digital sales are crashing in favor of streams. In fact, for the first time, the streams represent a bigger market share than digital sales. Pop music is the biggest genre but hip-hop is the close second. Rock music is going well. 

Where to go from now? 
Now, what should you do with those numbers? There are some important things we can understand with this report. Streaming is the best way to get your music out there so you should be part of as many streaming platforms as possible. What is better? Album release or songs release? It depends on how often you release songs. Releasing a song a month (12 songs a year) would be better than releasing one album a year since your fans would always be engaged with your music and waiting for more. 

Need funding for your project? We offer advances on your royalties. Quick estimate online. 


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