Artists direct Focus on passion, not professionalism
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20,000 foot view: All eyes of the music business are on artists direct, the fastest-growing segment of the industry. But the million artists in this segment are far from a unified group, and have varied aspirations, challenges, and needs. MIDiA’s 2023 creator survey reflects that the two largest sub-segments of artists direct are those who seek full-time music careers; and those who are passionate about music, but not seeking a full-time career. Counterintuitively, the latter may provide nearly just as large a revenue opportunity for the artist services sector than the former.
- Music is a full-time career for just of the artists direct sector, or million creators of artists direct are “career seekers” aspiring for a full-time music career, and are “passionate enthusiasts” who do not aspire to go full-time. These are the two largest sub-segments of artists direct
- Passionate enthusiasts are often just as committed and driven as career seekers, but simply do not plan to earn a living from their music
- On average, career seekers earn more income annually from music than passionate enthusiasts, and have more diversified music income sources
- Despite lower music earnings, passionate enthusiasts spend more on music-making tools compared to career seekers (an average of per year, compared to
- Passionate enthusiasts’ top challenge is not having enough time to create and use project management tools
- Oversaturation and lack of financial resources tie at as the top two challenges for career seekers, with the latter hindering their ability to overcome the former
- To assess the artists direct opportunity, MIDiA built an addressable revenue model based on each sub-segment allocating a portion of streaming revenues to growth tools
- Because they have both willingness and ability to spend on growth tools, passionate enthusiasts represent an million addressable revenue opportunity for an artist services market based on streaming revenue profit-share
- Career seekers have willingness, but less of an ability, to spend on growth tools. However, they have more streaming revenue to allocate so end up with a higher addressable opportunity of million
Companies and brands mentioned in this report: AWAL, BandLab, Believe, Discover Mode, Gamma, Human Re Sources, Laylo, Repost Network, Reverbnation, Sony Music, SoundCloud, SoundOn, Spotify, Stem, TikTok, TuneCore, UnitedMasters