Reports Music

Music creators Slicing the funnel

Report by Mark Mulligan, Kriss Thakrar and Tatiana Cirisano
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The 20,000 foot view:  Streaming enabled the rise of the independent artist and then the rise of the music creator. The promise of the long tail finally appeared to be realised. But the pandemic’s disruption of live music catalysed an already growing realisation among long- and mid-tail artists that they lack the scale to benefit from streaming economics. The music creator economy is at a tipping point, with ever more creators realising that the activity funnel towards streaming is better considered as a series of discreet slices, each of which can deliver better returns for them than the streaming end point.

Key Insights

  • Streaming is            effective at monetisation (forecast to                       billion in label trade terms            2021) but has a remuneration            for mid- and long-tail artists
  • Streaming’s superstar            favours large rightsholders and artists                       of artists account for            of            revenue, while            of artists generate           
  • Streaming democratised            but there is a tension            satisfying fans and creators –            fragmentation risks not enough income            for anyone
  • The superstar            economy is not constrained to                       of global artists account for            recorded music revenue
  • Only            of            creators make it through the            music industry’s funnel, meaning that            of the creator economy happens            the traditional business
  • The label            is but a small part            the wider market, dealing in            of thousands of artists while            creator business deals in tens            millions of creators
  • The traditional            business is defined by the            of fame and fortune .            creator economy is striving for            and remuneration
  • Creators are            the streaming funnel as discreet            often better geared for building            engagement and creator remuneration than            itself
  • Fleeing creator            artists will look for fans            platforms with higher and more            ROI, in turn reducing the            capital of streaming, adding to            impact
  • The slicing            the funnel will create a            of creation and business, with            focus on fans and remuneration            audience and scale

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Airbit, Avid, AWAL, BandLab, Bandcamp, BeatStars, CD Baby, Chelsea Cutler, Discord, DistroKid, Fiverr, Instagram, Kenny Beats, LANDR, Monique Winning, NetEase Cloud Music, Only Fans, Parlophone, Patreon, PinkPantheress, Rapchat, Shorts, Sony Music, SoundBetter, SoundCloud, Splice, Tencent Music Entertainment, TikTok, TuneCore, Twitch, Universal Music, Virgin Music, WMX, YouTube, Zola Jesus