Music Industry Takes a Hit

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry recently released new figures indicating global revenue hit another low last year, falling below the $15 billion threshold in 2014 for the first time in recent history, according to Quartz’s digital news outlet.

With the emergence of music streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, and Slacker Radio, artists have seen a decline in their revenue, which is leaving them disgruntled.

Taylor Swift let it be known she was unhappy with the unfair economics of streaming, and retracted all of her albums from Spotify.

In efforts to revitalize the industry, Jay-Z purchased Tidal earlier this year for $56 million in order to offer a music streaming service that pays record labels and music publishers higher royalty rates. Jay-Z's purpose is to completely eliminate the middleman and give artists more control over their music.

Jude Francios, who goes by Jay Burna, is an up-and-coming artist that resides in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He has worked with many artists such as Grammy-winning producer Jerry Wonda, RCA recording artist Kid Ink and R&B singer Sammie. He explained how the music industry is becoming more indie-driven which is better for artist such as himself.  

“I'm not worried about sales at this point because I can move my EP myself online or through a mom and pop shop and make my money,” said Burna. “At this point streams are becoming more dominant and it's still effective if you have a fan base when they're singing your words verbatim.”

Antonio Floyd, a fourth-year criminal justice student at Florida A&M University (FAMU), is also an up-and-coming artist named ‘TM’. He feels someone is going to believe in him and a decline in record sales isn’t going to discourage him from selling his upcoming LP.

“You have to have faith and believe that somebody in this world believes in you and your music,” said Floyd. “They see your values and the worth of your music.”

Tatyana Smith, a fourth-year economics student, also at FAMU, feels the music industry is going through a dramatic change with the technological advancements of today.

“Artists and record labels really have to stay with the demand curve at this point being not so much about physical copies but more based on selling on iTunes and other electronic downloading sites. As an economics student they teach you about supply and demand but they also teach you about how to stay on top of the demand trends so that they will continue to maximize profit or revenue,” Smith explained. “These days mobile streaming is one of the top resources of music so if the industry can figure out how to profit using streaming sites then they would be back on top.”