It is a follow-up to Artist & Label Services: How Technology is Energising an Artists-First Global Business, last year’s successful report exploring the emergence of a vibrant and robust sector revamping the international music industry.

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As a business model, Artist & Label Services (A&L Services) are injecting a new dose of fresh thinking into the global recorded music business.

They are both an antidote and a complement to the decades-old format of signing creators to contracts, which many argued put profit before those creating the music.

Traditional contracts have been criticized for requiring artists to sacrifice their creativity, careers and intellectual properties for financial advances.

That approach had a crucial role to play in a profitable US$40bn industry that thrived on physical vinyl and CD albums and singles – up till the 1990s.

The rise of the Internet, online music distribution and, later, smartphone marketing broke that mold and the music business suffered, as did the signed artists – many of whom turned to live music to survive.

Streaming music, which has its own detractors, and the major international platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and Deezer have since buoyed up the global market.

WP Artist and Label services

Trade organization IFPI reported international recorded-music revenues increasing 7.4% in 2020 to a strong US$21.6bn, the sixth consecutive year of growth. MIDiA Research drew a more optimistic picture, calculating that the global business generated US$23.1bn, representing a 7% growth from the previous year.

Meanwhile, analysts had noticed the arrival of A&L Services. They empowered individual artists and, instead of asking the creators to give up their valuable copyright, they charged a fee. Their services are enabling creators to self-release, establish DIY livelihoods, pay for artists-first expertise, and contribute to a healthy song economy that does not insist on mostly album recordings, if they are to earn a living.

MIDiA Research reported that direct-release artists, the core clients of A&L Services, contributed US$1.2bn to the total global revenues in 2020, a substantial 34.1% growth from 2019. During Midem Digital 2020, Fred Davis, a partner at Raine Group, a USA merchant bank and music-industry investor, said his company forecasts that DIY acts and ventures will generate more than US$2bn soon.

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Artist & Label Services: Taking Care of Business for Next Gen Independent Creators explores how the types of expertise offered to artists have since grown in number and evolved.

We talk to the fast-rising A&L Services providers and artists. We learn why 21st-century music acts and independent labels are embracing revolutionary tech tools, new monetization and commercial opportunities to embark on the most self-supporting phase in the history of artists in recorded music.

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This exclusive whitepaper named Artist & Label Services: Taking Care of Business for Next Gen Independent Creators focuses on:

  1. Introduction
  2. Overview
    • What do A&L Services do?
    • The A&L Services on offer
    • A&L Services: an evolving definition
    • International growth: Africa
    • International growth: Japan
    • International growth: Latin America
    • Publishing joins A&L Services
    • Advance financing
  1. Serving the artists
    • The majors
    • ArtLed
    • Audiomack
    • CD Baby
    • Integral, a [PIAS] company
    • IDOL
    • Spotify
    • TuneCore
    • Costs to creators
  1. The creators – an independent spirit
  2. SoundCloud: A Midem Q&A Interview
  3. The future
    • Patreon
    • NFTs (non-fungible tokens)
      • Rocki; Zeptagram
    • The gaming metaverse

The companies and artists we interviewed to get the lowdown of the fast-growing and rapidly evolving A&L Services sector:

  • Audiomack
  • ArtLed
  • Downtown Music Holdings, and its subsidiaries CD Baby, FUGA and Soundtrust
  • Horus Music
  • IDOL
  • UK-based Integral, part of [PIAS] Group
  • Patreon
  • Rocki
  • SoundCloud
  • Spotify
  • The Orchard, a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment
  • TuneCore, part of the France-based international music group Believe
  • Zeptagram
  • DIY Artist girlhouse
  • DIY Artist Swt Valli Hi



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