As if to put a further damper on your day, a new study by MIDiA Consulting has revealed that 1% of artists earn 77% of all recorded music income. The report, entitled The Death of the Long Tail: The Superstar Music Economy, is a fairly bleak affair. The disparity between the “Superstar Artist” (the top 1%) and other artists is fairly huge, and has been further complicated thanks to the ever-growing ways in which to consume music. Streaming services in particular have complicated things, with services like Spotify and Rdio competing against each other to entice customers with a larger catalog, which the report argues is entirely detrimental to the customer.
Action needs taking urgently to make sense of 25 million songs, not just through discovery and editorial, but also by taking the brave decision to keep certain types of content, such as sound-alikes, outside of music services’ main functionality.
Until labels, distributors and artists come to together to fix the issue of digital catalog pollution – sound alikes and karaoke especially – the Tyranny of Choice will reign supreme, hiding 99% of artists under a pervasive shroud of obscurity and giving the Superstars another free lap of the track.
Find more information on MIDiA’s report here, and check out graphs from the study above.