Artists receive 12% of $43bn US music revenues

A new report from Citigroup has revealed that recording artists received only 12 percent of the $43bn (£33bn) that the US music industry generated in 2017.

In a report published on Monday, Citigroup stated that music creators took home only $5.1bn(£3.9bn) of the industry’s revenue, the bulk of which was earned through touring.

Publishers and record labels took almost $10bn(£7.75bn) of the total $43bn figure.

Despite this, the earnings signify a high-water-mark for the industry which is experiencing its strongest earnings since 2006, generated by increased consumer spending of well over $20bn (£15bn).

This increase includes the highest share of revenue distributed to artists over the same time.

In 2000, it was reported that artists earned only a 7 percent share of the industry’s total revenue for the year, down 5 percent from the current figure.

The increase in artist revenue is said have been brought about by the growth of live gigs and touring as a stream of earning and the widespread separation of record labels as an intermediary for this revenue.

Artists are still reporting inadequate payment for streaming revenue however, which is increasing dramatically year on year and expected to have doubled by 2022.

Many high profile figures, such as Nile Rodgers, have addressed the issue and have pledged to work towards ensuring artists and songwriters are compensated fairly for the work.

In the report, Bjorn Niclas, cofounder of Choon, a cryptocurrency-based music streaming service said: ‘Currently artists are at the end of the line. They get the smallest piece of the pie even though they are the ones creating the content. In any other industry you typically see much better returns and margins.’

The report anticipates a situation wherein streaming services and music providers like Spotify and Apple Music ‘organically morph into music labels’ and allow artists to capture more of their work’s value by cutting out the requirement for a record label for distribution.