0

Mark Mulligan: Mainstream is the new niche

by Mark Mulligan

How is stardom calibrated in today’s music market? In his latest guest column, media thought leader Mark Mulligan compares three stars of three eras, putting side-by-side their album sales, Spotify streams (where applicable), concert tickets, and reach by percentage of population. The conclusion regarding Taylor Swift? “She is clearly a hugely successful artist at the top of her game,” Mark asserts. “But the game is not the same as it once was.” All this comes into focus when examining population reach. From that perspective, “mainstream” and “niche” merge together. A fascinating and important thought/research piece for understanding music success in 2024. Continue Reading

Mark Mulligan: Global recorded music revenues grew by 9.8% in 2023

by Mark Mulligan

The picture of music revenue is changing, with emerging revenue categories taking spotlight from older-school key metrics. This important guest column by MIDiA Research Managing Director Mark Mulligan includes a very informative infographic. Mark discusses a strategic shift in the industry. “Anticipating the streaming slowdown, labels and artists alike have been looking for diversification and new growth drivers, with superfans emerging as the central target.” Growth of physical revenues and “other”-category earnings are evidence of “superfan focus.” An essential read to understand how major labels view consumer preferences which shape major-label businesses. (And the infographic is must-see.) Continue Reading

Mark Mulligan: Streaming’s problems will not be fixed by royalties alone

by Mark Mulligan

The royalty agreement crafted by Universal Music Group and the Deezer streaming platform has gotten a lot of attention. In his latest guest column, MiDIA Research chief Mark Mulligan says both parties want that attention, if not necessarily the exact commentary they hoped for. “Streaming royalties are not adding up because streaming is not adding up. Fixing royalties is only part of the solution,” Mark asserts. Part of the solution requires understanding how these services have evolved, and solutions must consider the audience’s needs. A must-read.
Continue Reading

Mark Mulligan: AI, music rights, and known unknowns

by Mark Mulligan

“We need to look for early warning signs to try to understand when change is coming,” MIDiA Research head Mark Mulligan asserts in his latest guest column. “The music industry is full of them right now and the change to come will likely be so fast that music licensing will need a new playbook.” A must-read from one of the sharpest media observers. “If you thought change was fast this last decade, wait for the next one.”

Continue Reading

Mark Mulligan: The music industry’s tipping point is Right Here, Right Now

by Mark Mulligan

“Streaming is buckling under its own weight,” MIDiA Research head Mark Mulligan asserts in his latest guest column. Streaming solved the problems of piracy and cratering music sales, but with the unintended result of commodifying music consumption — passive playlist programming has squeezed out fan relationships. “The time is now to start building plan B,” Mark says — that would be a music world focused on fandom, identity, and exceptionalism. This is a vital thought piece from one of the world’s most informed thought leaders. A must-read.

Continue Reading

Mark Mulligan: Music fandom’s problem is TV’s opportunity

by Mark Mulligan

This guest column from Mark Mulligan examines the evolution of music fans in what he calls the “endless hustle of the song economy” as streaming listeners rely on algorithms to furnish an endless succession of songs. TikTok is a better venue for developing a personal relationship between musician and listener. But TV is also a surprising source of music discovery for many people. Click for Mark’s analysis and an illustrative data chart.

Continue Reading

Mark Mulligan: Everyone hurts – the problem with ‘fixing’ streaming

by Mark Mulligan

This guest column from Mark Mulligan breaks down what mid-level success looks like from a musician’s viewpoint. “Streaming was built for yesterday’s music business,” Mark Mulligan asserts in this guest column. He breaks down what success looks like to midlevel artists, then doubles it … and it’s still not enough. Mulligan suggests two possible innovations in the existing royalty system.
Continue Reading

Mark Mulligan: Can Spotify break out of its lane?

by Mark Mulligan

This guest column from Mark Mulligan identifies a crucial trend: After years of relative stability, music consumption is shifting, with the streaming model exemplified by Spotify is beginning to lose some ground — as evidenced by financial reports and the growth of “social music.” Mark asks whether Spotify and the other Western DSPs are going to find themselves left behind by a fast-changing market, or will innovate to keep up the pace.
Continue Reading

Mark Mulligan: Spotify pushes prices up, but do not expect dramatic effects

by Mark Mulligan

This guest column from Mark Mulligan notes that Spotify is raising the price of some Premium subscriptions … and argues it is past time. The basic single-person subscription of $9.99 remains in place, but Mulligan anticipates that level will move upward, and needs to. “The fact that streaming pricing has remained locked at $9.99 since the early 2000s is an open wound for streaming,” Mulligan asserts.

Continue Reading

Mark Mulligan: The music business in 2021 – Joining the dots

by Mark Mulligan

This masterful write-up summarizes several important announcements which were clustered into a single week. There are three connecting threads: 1. The (continued) astronomic rise of the independent artist; 2. The growth of creator tools; 3. Streaming’s growing pains. A must-read from a global leader in digital audio industry analysis.
Continue Reading

In streaming music, “tectonic” shift toward direct artists and non-Merlin indie labels — the “new independent”

Mark Mulligan of MIDiA Research published research showing a long tail of music providers which is gradually taking Spotify listening share from major labels and the mighty Merlin aggregate of indie labels. This cohort of providers, growing over three years, represents a “new independent.” Click through for a revealing graphic.
Continue Reading