The State of the Music Industry According to TuneCore Artists

November 12, 2014

By Dwight Brown
These days, the business of music evolves faster than a drumbeat. So how do artists keep up and can they?

In true TuneCore fashion, we’ve asked our TuneCore Community —indie artists and label management—for their take on the state of the music industry. 1,112 respondents shared their viewpoints in an online survey conducted September, 2014.

What happened? Well, they weren’t shy. They told us everything! Their answers and insights provide guideposts and roadmaps for fellow musicians. So listen up.

Here are some Key Highlights from the survey.


Across the board, survey respondents agree that streaming services make it easier for new fans to find music (67.46% true/very true).

Distribution without a label

Across all demographic categories, respondents consider the fact that they can get their music out without a label to be the most important digitally-driven change to the music industry (64.66% rating #1 or #2).

Social platforms

Facebook was the clear leader when it comes to social networks important for connecting with fans, with 65.11% of survey respondents ranking it first or second.

Distribution Channels

iTunes was clearly the top pick, with 65.83% of all respondents placing it in the most important slot. Spotify and YouTube are vying for #2.

5-Year Revenue Outlook

Live performance was the top choice across all groups, with licensing and paid downloads coming in either second or third.

The business of music has changed fundamentally and dramatically, but through our TuneCore community’s opinions, we can see that change can bring new opportunities.

This new generation of musician-entrepreneurs is using the music industry’s warp-speed evolution to their advantage. As they do, they’re taking control of their careers and finding new ways to make money while making their music.

Listen up.

Read our What do the Artists Think? survey in its entirety.