Industry Wrap-Up: February 2021

March 1, 2021

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown. While so much of our daily lives and routines have been put on an indefinite hold, there’s still plenty of truth to the classic saying, “life goes on.” This certainly rings true ofthe recent happenings within the music industry. Be sure to catch up on all that happened last month below!

Over 60,000 Tracks are Now Uploaded to Spotify Every Day– That’s Nearly One Per Second.
As part of Spotify’s ‘Stream On’ event on 2/22, the streaming company confirmed that more than 60,000 new releases are being added to their platform every single day. That means that approximately 22 million tracks will be added to Spotify’s catalog within the upcoming year. Given the trajectory of new releases thus far, it’s reasonable to assume that by the end of 2021, Spotify will have over 90 million tracks and will most likely surpass a catalog of 100 million releases for the first time ever. “I believe that by 2025, we could have as many as 50 million creators on our platform, whose art is enjoyed by a billion users around the world,” says Spotify founder, Daniel Ek.
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Apple Music Launches ‘Behind The Songs’ Portal to Highlight Songwriters and Producers
Apple Music has launched their brand new artist portal, dedicated to highlighting songwriters, producers, session musicians, and their work. The new portal will feature Apple Music’s key playlist brands, including Behind the Boards and Songbook. Additionally, it will allow songwriters and publishers to participate in regularly updated editorial features and promotions exclusive to Apple Music and its subscribers. According to Music Business Worldwide, Behind the Songs will be fully searchable in Apple Music and will appear for any subscriber searching for the words “Songwriter or Songwriters” combined with lyric-search, lyric share and time-synced lyrics.
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US Music Fans Spent More on Vinyl Than CD Last Year For The First Time Since 1986
According to the RIAA, Vinyl LPs and EPs generated $619.6 million in retail spending in 2020. That was $136 million more than the total amount spent by US consumers on CD albums in the same 12 months. This is the first time since 1986 that vinyl outsold CD on an annual basis. Of course, streaming was the largest contributor to record industry revenues, generating $10.1 billion– worth 83% of the US industry’s total retail revenues, according to Music Business Worldwide. As predicted, the pandemic-enforced closure of physical retail stores has likely impacted the number of CD sales last month.
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TuneCore Launches Operations in Africa
TuneCore has launched operations in Africa: Jade Leaf has been hired as Head of TuneCore for Southern Africa and will share responsibility for key countries in East Africa with Chioma Onuchukwu, who has been hired as Head of TuneCore for West Africa. Onuchukwu will be based in Nigeria and oversee countries in West Africa including Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and The Gambia. She will also look after Tanzania and Ethiopia in East Africa.  Leaf’s territory encompasses Southern Africa, including South Africa, where she will be based, as well as Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Lesotho. Leaf will also manage TuneCore operations in East African countries Kenya and Uganda. There has been a meteoric rise in the uptake of streaming services in Africa, attributed to several factors such as an increase in internet penetration via smartphones, the entrance of international and local streaming platforms in key territories and its youth population – More than 60% of African’s are under the age of 25.
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Songfluencer Launches ‘Rising’ Program For Emerging Artists
Songfluencer is one of the up-and-coming start-ups that aims to connect musical artists with music-influencers, AKA ‘songfluencers’ for marketing partnership opportunities. It has recently expanded its activity with their newly launched ‘Rising’ program, focusing on emerging artists. It kicked off the new series with a “Rising- Black Artist Initiative” as a partnership with TIDAL. According to Music Ally, the program provides two artists with the opportunity to win a $5k Songfluencer campaign; have their music placed on Tidal’s own ‘Rising’ playlist; and get mentorship and TikTok marketing training. “Rising is our way of giving back to the artist community, particularly to women in music, BIPOC, LGBTQ+ & Latin artists,” said CEO Johnny Cloherty.
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SoundSys Launched to Drive Improvements in Performance Rights Revenue Distribution
IFPI, the organization that represents the recorded music industry worldwide, as well as four leading music licensing companies in Asia, is working with music technology company BMAT to launch SoundSys, a first-ever shared system for the distribution of sound recording performance rights revenue around the world. According to IFPI, MLCs in India, Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand, working with BMAT, have developed the industry’s first shared, cloud-based software that serves as a complete, cost-effective back-office distribution system for revenue collected for the broadcasting and public performance of sound recordings and karaoke videos in these countries. Frances Moore, Chief Executive of IFPI, says, “We have launched in Asia in close collaboration with the MLCs that have helped shape and refine the system. It’s proving to be highly effective in assisting the operations of MLCs and we will now be looking to roll it out in other regions that can benefit most from the software.”
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