Reports Music

Artists direct Focus on passion, not professionalism

Report by Tatiana Cirisano
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20,000 foot view:  All eyes of the music business are on artists direct, the fastest-growing segment of the industry. But the        million artists in this segment are far from a unified group, and have varied aspirations, challenges, and needs. MIDiA’s 2023 creator survey reflects that the two largest sub-segments of artists direct are those who seek full-time music careers; and those who are passionate about music, but not seeking a full-time career. Counterintuitively, the latter may provide nearly just as large a revenue opportunity for the artist services sector than the former.

Key insights 

  • Music is a full-time career for just        of the artists direct sector, or        million creators
  •        of artists direct are “career seekers” aspiring for a full-time music career, and        are “passionate enthusiasts” who do not aspire to go full-time. These are the two largest sub-segments of artists direct
  • Passionate enthusiasts are often just as committed and driven as career seekers, but simply do not plan to earn a living from their music
  • On average, career seekers earn        more income annually from music than passionate enthusiasts, and have more diversified music income sources
  • Despite lower music earnings, passionate enthusiasts spend        more on music-making tools compared to career seekers (an average of        per year, compared to       
  • Passionate enthusiasts’ top challenge is not having enough time to create        and        use project management tools
  • Oversaturation and lack of financial resources tie at        as the top two challenges for career seekers, with the latter hindering their ability to overcome the former
  • To assess the artists direct opportunity, MIDiA built an addressable revenue model based on each sub-segment allocating a portion of streaming revenues to growth tools
  • Because they have both willingness and ability to spend on growth tools, passionate enthusiasts represent an        million addressable revenue opportunity for an artist services market based on streaming revenue profit-share
  • Career seekers have willingness, but less of an ability, to spend on growth tools. However, they have more streaming revenue to allocate so end up with a higher addressable opportunity of        million

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: AWAL, BandLab, Believe, Discover Mode, Gamma, Human Re Sources, Laylo, Repost Network, Reverbnation, Sony Music, SoundCloud, SoundOn, Spotify, Stem, TikTok, TuneCore, UnitedMasters

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