Last November, Irving Azoff, the entertainment manager who is known for finesse in making deals for artists like The Eagles, invited a host of music executives for an elaborate charity event at a Santa Monica beach. Some of the guests included managers of the world’s biggest pop stars who are making money from the music business.
Glasses clinked and laughter was heard at the event and it seemed that the guests have accepted the ravaged state of the music industry. Almost 20 years have passed since the music industry has borne the brunt of digital disruption with file-sharing tearing apart the business of music and its revenues. However, all is not lost because it seems that the internet is trying to resurrect the music industry that it almost killed.
Because of the growth of Spotify and Apple Music, music streaming has achieved 100 million paying subscribers all over the world, a feat considered impossible years ago. The US music industry is on its second consecutive year of growth – something that the industry never experienced since 1999 when Napster was launched.
Music analysts and executives are confidently predicting a new golden age for the industry. For a long time, the industry has always been driven by hits but now the financial profile that recorded music used to have never reached this scale. In the pre-Napster years, compact disc sales ruled the industry but now a monthly payment allows 30m songs on the Smartphone, tablet or desktop app.
Nobody could be happier than Universal Music when the music of Canadian rapper Drake was streamed for more than 4.7billion times in Spotify alone last year. Every time Spotify streams Drake’s music, the record labels collects royalties. Artists like Drake helped Universal to earn $1.1 billion from streaming revenues within 9 months enough to offset the losses in digital downloads and CD’s.
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