Sep 23, 2022 - Economy

Streaming music's renaissance

Illustration of a hundred dollar bill as an equalizer. 

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The streaming music industry is on the B-side of its maturity, Hope writes.

Driving the news: Apple, which “has prided itself on marketing its brand differently” than other mass consumer companies — including Budweiser and Coke — just signed a multiyear agreement to take Pepsi’s spot as sponsor of the Super Bowl halftime, according to NYT.

  • And in a much anticipated announcement, YouTube exec Robert Kyncl was named Warner Music Group's next CEO to help “unlock new opportunities at scale for artists.”

The big picture: Total annual recorded music revenues reached $15 billion last year, 37% lower than in 1999 when adjusted for inflation, according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

  • Streaming made up 83% of those total revenues.

Between the lines: Artists have never had so many paths available to produce and distribute their music, Mitch Glazier, CEO of the RIAA, wrote earlier this year.

  • “We still have plenty of room to grow — to reach and surpass historical values for music.”

Hope’s thought bubble: Tech fluency has become a non-negotiable for anyone trying to harness and to profit from audio content.

  • At the same time, a company like Apple has to get over itself and embrace the mass appeal of a commoditized service — especially if it wants to gain market share against Spotify.

What to watch: And speaking of Spotify, as the current leader in streaming, its own maturity path means it has to expand outside of music even further — which it did this week when it published more than 300,000 audiobooks.

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