How big data can change the music industry | VentureBeat | Media | by Darius Fong, weeSPIN Video Record Pool Service Video Record Pool for professional VDJs

The topic of royalty payouts from streaming services emerges year after year. The arguments remain the same, yet no progress has been made.

Industry leaders continue to focus on streaming royalties as the only future of artists’ revenue. As of yet, the fate of music monetization remains undecided. Some argue the goal is — and always will be — to simply get artists’ music in the ears of consumers. Others seek to continue getting consumers to pay for music. Still, it’s unlikely that subscription models will be the only answer to how music creators, both signed and independent, get compensated for their art in a sustainable way.

Total music sales in the U.S. have dropped below $7 billion compared to $13 billion in 2003, according to the RIAA. Meanwhile, led by the technology industry, the music industry continues to replace old, classic pay revenue models like CDs and iTunes with newer models with shrinking market shares.

Nielsen recently investigated the future of the music business and exposed the unfortunate reality of consumers’ purchasing habits. Namely, labels that choose to remove an artist from streaming services may squeeze out eight percent in extra sales, though they may be training the remainder of listeners to look elsewhere for that artist’s songs. Most often, this results in illegal downloads. What music really needs is a diversity of revenue opportunities beyond pure consumer models like subscription and sales.

And what I believe is fundamentally missing from the debate is a new revenue source for music: Big data.


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