What is a Recording Artist?

In the music business, a recording artist is a person that performs songs in a studio-like setting for the purpose of recording songs and releasing them to the public. A recording artist can be a singular individual, a band, or even a massive symphony. A recording artist can also be a songwriter. However, recording artists often perform and record songs that they did not write themselves.

Learn more about music industry terms defined in Exploration’s very own: "How the Music Business Works: 2nd Edition".

In this newsletter:

For the first time ever, music audio streams in the US crossed the one trillion mark in a single year, according to Luminate. This figure is up by 11.9 billion compared to 2021, when the full-year tally was 988.1 billion.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK has decided that low returns from music streaming are not being driven by the major labels’ dominance of the market. The news was announced as the competition regulator published its final 165-page report into the UK music business on Tuesday.

Apple Music is now encouraging the use of the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) in its metadata submissions by rights owners. The move is expected to improve listeners’ search experience and improve digital workflows.

Now, the details...

Exploration Weekly - December 2, 2022
Compiled by Heidi Seo

Music Audio Streams Just Crossed the 1 Trillion Mark for the First Time Ever in a Single Year in the US

Music audio streams in the US just crossed the one trillion mark for the first time ever in a single year. That’s according to US market monitor Luminate (formerly MRC Data / Nielsen Music), which revealed that the 1 trillion mark was crossed in the US on Saturday (November 26). That 1 trillion figure grew by 11.9 billion compared to 2021, when the full-year tally for music audio streams in the US was 988.1 billion, according to Luminate data. During the first half of 2022, according to Luminate, music audio streaming was up +24.7% around the world (across global territories). The publication of Luminate’s new dataset around music audio streaming numbers in the US in 2022 comes two months after the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) published its 2022 Mid-Year Music Industry Revenue Report, which showed that streaming revenues grew 10%, from $5.9 billion in H1 2021 to $6.5 billion in the first half of 2022.

Low Returns from Music Streaming Not Result of Market Dominance, UK Regulator Says

The U.K. competition regulator has ruled out making further interventions in the music business and says that low returns from streaming, which songwriters and artists have expressed concerns about, are not being driven by the major labels’ dominance of the market. In its final 165-page report into the U.K. music business, published Tuesday, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) says, however, that it is a matter for policymakers to determine whether current streaming revenue splits are “appropriate and fair” and if “wider policy interventions are required.” To that end, the regulator says it will share its final findings with the British government. The report into the U.K. music business shows that consumers have greatly benefited from streaming.

Apple Music Encourages International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) Metadata Submissions by Rights Owners

Apple Music encourages International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) metadata submissions by rights owners. Apple Music has sent word to its label partners and music sector organizations that the company is encouraging the submissions of ISNI metadata by rights owners as part of its standard workflow procedure. The announcement is excellent news for creators and music industry organizations. The move toward using international, standard name identifiers will improve listeners’ search experience while facilitating discovery online and improving digital workflows for copyright, rights, and royalties management. ISNI International Agency’s Executive Director, Tim Devenport said, “Leveraging ISNI’s capabilities as a bridging identifier — alongside Apple ID and other international standards — should further streamline the information exchanges underlying digital discovery to the benefit of creators and consumers alike.”

IFPI Launches Official MENA Chart, with Rema’s “Calm Down” Named as First No. 1

Global recorded music body IFPI has launched the ‘Official MENA Chart’, which it calls the first-ever official chart in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The new singles chart includes music streaming data from Anghami, Apple, Deezer, Spotify and YouTube. The IFPI says that the chart captures music streaming from 13 markets across the MENA region, from Morocco in the West to UAE in the East – covering more than 300 million people. The track Calm Down by Nigerian artist Rema has scored the first ever MENA Chart No.1. According to the IFPI, recorded music market revenues in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region grew by 35% in 2021 – the fastest-growing region in the world. The chart will be prepared each week by the charts compiler BMAT, in accordance with IFPI’s global charts principles and methodologies.

“The Job is Going to Die”: Songwriters Say More Change is Needed to Survive in the Music Industry

One of the most significant decisions the music industry agreed to in the next five years occurred on Capitol Hill. At the end of August, the major streaming services entered a new agreement with music publishers through a system called the Copyright Royalty Board, a panel of three judges appointed by the Librarian of Congress that convenes to determine the fate of publishers’ and songwriters’ royalties for the following five years. Since September, the industry has waited for the CRB to actually order the agreement into law, which is expected soon (the proposal is currently in a public comment period). The agreement was largely celebrated by several industry figures as a significant victory for publishers and songwriters, a juxtaposition from the “funeral” the songwriters had mentioned.

PPL Boss Discusses Revival of the Recorded Music Revenue Streams That Were Hit by COVID

CEO Peter Leathem of UK record industry collecting society PPL discussed the state of public performance and broadcast income at the organization’s Annual Performer Meeting. Those, of course, were the recorded music revenue streams that took a hit during the COVID pandemic and commercial radio advertising income. On the public performance revenue stream in the UK – which is managed by PPL’s joint venture with PRS – Leathem said: “This is a high-volume business where we license hundreds of thousands of UK establishments for their use of music – and this was where we saw the biggest impact from COVID-19 back in 2020. In that year, there was a 42% decline in revenue due to the restrictions on many businesses that were unable to open let alone play music, which, in turn, impacted our public performance licensing revenue”. “In 2021 though, we were pleased to see some recovery”, he added.

Random Ramblings

  • 22 best data sources to understand the music industry in 2022 .
  • Music industry figures call for government action on streaming after CMA report.
  • Bad Bunny threepeats as Spotify's most-streamed artist in the world.
  • Apple Music's top songs of 2022.
  • K-pop’s global rise: a series of well-planned explosions rather than a single big bang.

Who is Exploration?

Exploration is proud to be the company of choice to administer much of the world’s most important media. We rely on advanced technology and a competent, full-time staff of 70+ people to help our clients and partners better control their data and collect their money.

We wrote a free book on how the music business works.

To see who is collecting your royalties, request a free copyright audit.