Something’s happening to the music industry. We’re not sure how it’s going to shake out, but the world we knew has been turned on its head by streaming, face tats, and piracy. The Wild West days of mp3 blogs may be behind us, but there are plenty of knots to work out and areas to grow—even as revenue begins the long climb back towards CD-era cash flows.
Today’s casual listener has more power than ever, even if they’re spending less. Some of these revelations seem obvious once you see them written down, we at Daily Ent. Xpress broke down the list of 15 to a top 10 facts.
2018 is weird and wonderful, the only time in history where vinyl records and Cardi B coexist as the feel-good stories of the year. Here are 10 modern music facts to blow your mind.
12 hours of music are uploaded to SoundCloud every minute.
In 2015, Adele kept her album off streaming services and sold 5 million CDs in a month.Adele’s 25 was one of the biggest albums of 2015—and 2016—but some of us didn’t hear the whole thing until months later, when she finally put it on streaming services. The album was only available as a physical copy or download until then, a gamble that paid off for the English singer. After one month, two-thirds of the total album sales were physical units, equating to about 5 million $10 CDs.
Cardi B and Lauryn Hill are the only female rappers with solo No. 1 songs in the US“Doo Wop (That Thing)” was the debut solo single from Lauryn Hill—she had already made a name for herself as part of The Fugees, but “That Thing” revealed just how much potential the singer had. The song spent its first week at number one on the Billboard charts, the first debut single to do so.
Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)” is another debut single. Cardi had also accumulated some cultural capital at that point by starring on Love & Hip-Hop: New York, but “Bodak Yellow” put her on a global stage. It was the biggest song of 2017, earned Cardi two Grammy nominations, and put another hole in a glass ceiling that hadn’t been challenged for 20 years.
Vinyl sales have increased for 11 straight years, and cassettes are next.Granted, these physical formats still make up only a fraction of music industry revenue (vinyl sales made up 3.7% of the total recorded music market in 2017), but the comeback is still impressive. Cassette sales grew by 35% in 2017, and vinyl boasted a 22% jump. And with more majors getting into the act—last year Sony announced they’d start pressing records after a 28-year hiatus—the ceiling is nowhere in sight.
Drake’s “Nice For What” was streamed more than 10 million times in 24 hours on Apple Music.That’s an Apple Music record. The music video is about to cross the 100 million mark, one month after its release.
It takes an average of 220 streams for an independent artist to make £1 on major streaming platforms.That 220 number is an average across platforms, circa 2016. We found the number of streams it would take an independent artist to make £1 on Tidal (185), Apple Music (196), and Spotify (279) to find it, and left off outlier platforms like YouTube (776). Artists signed to a label would need a different number, depending on the deal.
Lil Pump’s “Gucci Gang” is the shortest song to crack the Billboard Top 10 in 40+ years.“Gucci Gang” is Lil Pump’s most famous song. It’s also one of his shortest, clocking in at just over two minutes. When the video dropped and it cracked Billboard’s Top 10, “Gucci Gang” became the shortest song in 42 years to reach that milestone. The previous record holder? Dickie Goodman’s “Mr. Jaws,” recorded in the wake of Steven Spielberg’s film.
Music piracy costs the industry about $12.5 billion every year.Despite the growing popularity of streaming, music piracy is bigger than ever. Muso’s Annual Piracy Report found that music piracy grew nearly 15% in 2017, with 73.9 billion visits to music piracy sites worldwide. The RIAA estimates that piracy leads to an annual loss of around $12.5 billion, and over $400 million in taxes.
Three major labels make up more than 80% of music industry revenue.After Universal purchased EMI in 2012, the big four shrunk to the big three, and power at the top of the music industry was consolidated even further. Sony, Universal, Warner, and their many subsidiaries own the vast majority of labels you might recognize, but indies are doing fine, too: independent labels generated over $6 billion in sales in 2016.
Post Malone holds the record for most songs simultaneously in the top 20 of Billboard’s Hot 100Post Malone’s domination of the streaming era continued this week—while his platinum certification might raise a couple of eyebrows, there’s no denying this record. Post has the most simultaneous songs in the Billboard top 20. This week saw nine of Post’s songs crack the top 20. The previous record holders, J. Cole and The Beatles, had six. And all of the 18 songs on Beerbongs & Bentleys made the Hot 100.