DIY Artists Will Earn More Than $1 Billion This Year. No Wonder The Major Labels Want Their Business.

According to a recent article published by Rolling Stone, DIY Artists Will Earn More Than $1 Billion This Year. It appears the tables are finally turning and its in favor in favor of the artists. Some may argue the music game is over-saturated and the pay out from music streaming doesn't quite add up. However Rolling Stone and professional recording artists like Mike U. The Rap Grad. beg to differ.

The rise of DIY artists, and the vast consumption of their music, have obviously exploded thanks to Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, Apple Music, et. al, and the ease with which homespun acts can distribute their music to these platforms. U.K.-based Midia Research is the first company to put a number on this trend. It estimates that last year self-releasing artists generated $643 million worldwide, collected by platforms like TuneCore, CD Baby, Distrokid and Ditto Music.

That was up 35 percent year-on-year, and was enough to claim 3.4 percent of the record industry’s total global revenues.That $643 million number, however, deliberately doesn’t tell the full story. 

For one thing, there’s publishing to consider. Every DIY artist who writes their own music will be due 100 percent of publishing royalties from any track they distribute via the likes of TuneCore or CD Baby — so long as this cash is properly registered and collected worldwide. And the two aforementioned services, alongside others such as Songtrust and Sentric Music, are set up to do just that. 

Broad industry calculations suggest that publishing/songwriter rights accrue around a fifth of the money, per track, that recorded-music rights generate from streaming platforms. Which suggests that you could comfortably add another $100 million onto Midia’s $643 million estimate for 2018 if you were to include publishing in your final tally. 

If “self-releasing” artists, with publishing factored in, saw another 35 percent rise in global revenues in 2019, their collective annual income would hit somewhere around the $1 billion mark. Add income streams like sync (licensing music to ads, film and TV, as handled by the likes of Songtradr), plus the monetization/licensing of user-generated YouTube videos, and it looks certain that self-releasing acts will easily generate a whopping 10 figures in 2019 — a number that is only going to escalate in the years ahead.

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