Changing Technology Enables New Means of Distribution in the Music Industry – The Ticker
The music industry is constantly evolving as the technology used to distribute and consume it evolves with it. The last decade has seen major changes in the way people get their music, with streaming and digital downloads becoming the norm for billions of listeners around the world. Record labels have taken notice and embraced this change.
Deals have been made between labels and streaming services for exclusivity, including streaming rights. With the rise of social media platforms like TikTok as a way to share music, artists want more autonomy over their music and blockchain technology.
Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” has become America’s highest charting song after going viral on TikTok, so much so that the rapper credits the app for the song’s success.
“Maybe I should pay TikTok,” the rapper told TIME magazine. “They really boosted the song. It was getting to the point that it was almost stagnant. When TikTok hit it, almost every day since, streams have increased. I give them a lot of credit. »
This is just one example of a song that has become popular thanks to TikTok. The social media platform itself has noticed its growing prominence in music distribution, partnering with music distribution platform SoundOn in March.
The partnership promised to help smaller artists find their fanbase and give them more autonomy over their music. SoundOn offers artists 100% of their royalties in the first year and 90% thereafter. This move is a departure from the standard artist-record label relationship where newly signed artists typically receive less than 20% of their royalties.
New artists aren’t the only ones benefiting from changing trends. Rapper Jay-Z launched the artist-driven music streaming platform Tidal in 2015.
The platform enjoyed early success due to its exclusive rights to release major songs like singer Beyonce’s “Lemonade” and rapper Kanye West’s “The Life of Pablo”, but the platform was not viable in the long term. losing nearly $37 million in 2018. The company also lost over 100,000 subscribers.
Square then acquired Jay-Z’s majority stake in the company for $297 million. Despite Tidal’s failure, that hasn’t stopped veteran artists from pursuing musical self-reliance.
Ye, who invested in Tidal, had a public feud with former label Universal Music Group over the release of his 10th studio album “Donda,” which ended his 17-year contract with the label. The album was awarded in 2021, becoming Apple Music’s most streamed album in over 152 countries and Spotify’s second biggest debut album.
When he released his next album “Donda 2”, Ye decided to release it exclusively on his “Stemplayer,a blockchain-powered device that allows listeners to download, stream, and tweak and redo musical stems such as vocals and instrumentals. “Donda 2” grossed over $2.2 million in sales the day after the announcement of exclusivity.
In addition to stub reader blockchain technology, such as non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, they are increasingly being adopted by artists. Kings of Leon became the first group to release their album “When You See Yourself” as an NFT with exclusive content in 2021. This distribution method has proven to be successful as the NFT has generated over 2 million likes. dollar sales.
Nas has partnered with blockchain platform Royal.io to release a royalty-sharing NFT collection featuring songs from his Grammy-winning album “Kings Disease” and his album “Kings Disease II” , Grammy-nominated.
NFTs give owners ownership of streaming royalties on certain songs along with other benefits. This partnership brought in over $560,000 in revenue and sold out within minutes.
Only 78% of music posted on Spotify was distributed by record labels in 2020, down from 87% in 2017. With blockchain platforms and services promising the decentralization and accessibility of social media, record labels are slowly becoming a less viable option as an intermediary to market and distribute artists’ music. It becomes easier for new artists and veterans alike to market and distribute music, giving them hope for big financial gains.