How Playlists Reshaped the Music Industry

This article was first published on Viberate - Medium

A brief dive into why playlists matter for today’s musician and how some of the artists are using them to their advantage.

My favorite part about launching a new tool or service has always been talking to the first testers. By discussing various improvement ideas, we inevitably touch on the subject of their lives and professional experience, which always brings valuable insights into what’s really important to them.

While testing our upcoming analytics tool, many of those interviews included talking about playlists and all the different ways the artists or labels approach them. What repeatedly came up was obvious: streaming is an important source of revenue, especially now, when live events are off the table.

That sent me digging through the stats to see just how much money we’re talking about, and ask the artists for some tips on getting a track onto a playlist.

I also found this meme. Is this relatable?

Playlists and streaming = new cash flows

First things first: wow. The music industry landscape has changed A LOT in the last 20 years. There were decades when musicians and their teams could make a decent living off album sales, since physical formats were king. In 1999, CD sales were peaking with $15B, accounting for 88 percent of the recorded music revenue that year, according to RIIA.

Fast forward to 2019, and the situation is quite different: the revenues are fragmented throughout numerous formats, and the industry revenue is half the size it was 20 years ago at $13,1B. The majority of traffic — and therefore, the revenue — happens on the streaming platforms. Paid subscriptions bring in almost $7B (a little over half of the total industry revenue) and ad-supported, on-demand streaming comes in a remote second with $1B. Fun fact: in 2019, CD sales were still more profitable than ...

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Viberate - Medium

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