Out with the old, in with the new: 2021 has finally entered the ring, leaving 2020 and all of its chaos behind. With so much happening over the past 12 months, it’s understandable to have missed out on a headline or two. Check out the latest and greatest music industry highlights from December below.

How 2020 Changed the Music Business Forever
2020 truly tested the boundaries of the music industry, flipping everything from touring to release strategies upside down. As Universal Music boss Lucian Grainge said in an end-of-year email to his company last week: 2020 “will be a year we remember with sadness for what we lost, but it will also be a year we remember with pride for how we weathered the challenges we were forced to confront.” Rolling Stone covers the 12 biggest ways the “strange, twisty year” shattered the norms of the multibillion-dollar hit-making business. Read more here.

10 Music Business Predictions For 2021
2020 has been an eventful year in music, and while the pandemic can be held accountable for the chaos of this past year, the natural evolution of the business had a major impact on today’s music industry environment as well. From the lifespan of TikTok to future improvements in the concert livestream world, Forbes covers their top 10 predictions for the music industry in the upcoming new year. Read more here.

What’s in the New Stimulus Package for the Music Industry
In order for the music industry to begin to move forward from this treacherous year is through a call for aid and support on a national level. The omnibus budget appropriation and COVID-19 relief legislation passed by both houses of the U.S. Congress were finally granted at the end of the month for the music business: the CASE Act (Copyright Alternative in Small Claims Enforcement Act), the Protecting Lawful Streaming Act, and the Save Our Stages Act, which reserves $15 billion in aid for independent music venues, Broadway theaters, and museums. Read more here.

BPI Reveals 8.2% Rise in UK’s Music Consumption in 2020
British industry body the BPI, has released data that music consumption rose by 8.2% in the UK last year – a sixth consecutive year of growth – including 139bn audio streams, up by 22%. The body’s release noted that nearly 200 artists were streamed more than 100m times in the UK in 2020, with the top 10 each doing more than 500m. Meanwhile, 8,000 artists surpassed 1m streams last year in the UK, with “more than six times as many artists achieving 100,000 streams as the equivalent number of sales in 2007”. Read more here.

Amazon Music to Buy Podcast Company Wondery, Taking Fight to Spotify
Spotify has been the trailblazer for streaming platforms acquiring podcast companies in the past two years, spending a total of over $600m to acquire the likes of Gimlet, Parcast, The Ringer and Anchor FM. Last week, Amazon Music announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Los Angeles-based Wondery, which makes and produces well-known podcasts including Dirty John, Dr. Death, Business Wars, and The Shrink Next Door. Amazon is set to acquire Wondery at a valuation for the podcast firm of over $300m. Read more here.


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