As a former professional deejay, I spend a lot of time on music. But I`m also interested in other people`s tastes in music. I`m an uncle to four teenagers and I find it strange to hear that all of them are often listening to old music. Very often from the ’80s.
I very often say; «who`s playing that song?». What? Do you like that song? Yes, teenagers like a lot of old music. Sometimes more than new and so-called popular songs which are newly released. I very often think for myself that new popular songs aren`t good enough, but it seems like young people share my opinion.
Don`t get me wrong. I like new music, but I must admit that it isn`t many good ones. So, very often I`m listening to old music, and most of it is from the ’70s and ’80s. I very often ask myself why there was so much good music from that era? This is also a time when I used to work as a professional DJ.
The ’80s was a time for the free world and free trade. Republicans like Thatcher and Reagan had a lot to say at that time. I find it very interesting and think that it can be a hidden connection here.
It was a time with so much energy. People were smiling and dancing, and they had so much fun. The «king of pop» was the biggest of all the biggest, and he is still my favorite. Later on, Witney Houston came on the top lists as well. Two superstars with so many skills.
But, all of it came to an end. Michael Jackson got into a hell of a lot of trouble, and so did Witney Houston. Jackson spent more time in the court than in the studio. People didn`t have much fun the same way anymore, and we saw a shift in the market. Out with Jackson and Houston and in with Eminem.
And so is it today. It isn`t many skills like Jackson and Houston, but more like «keep-it-in-the-closet» rap songs like Eminem. I`m not a big fan of it, but it seems to me that you don`t need many skills to reach the top today.
According to MBW, catalog music claimed 73,1% of the US music consumption market in the second half of 2021. This is in line with my observations. People are listening to old music. Not new releases.
Across the whole of 2021, catalog music actually claimed 69,8% of Total Album Consumption in the U.S.
The best-selling artist in 2021 was Adele (traditional album sales, not including streaming). But, unfortunately, the biggest success story in the U.S had nothing to do with a new release: it was catalog music.
Catalog records accounted for a stunning 82,1% of total recorded music consumption in the U.S in the second half of 2021.
Current records made up just 17,9% of U.S music consumption in the last months of 2021. That`s less than a fifth of the market.
Not only that; total consumption (sales plus streams) of current music actually fell, in real terms, by 37,4% in the second half of 2021 compared to the same period of 2020. This is exactly in line with my observations.
So, in the year 2021, the total on-demand streaming volume in the U.S increased 9,9% YoY to 1,13 trillion. And total album consumption saw a YoY increase of 11,3%.
So, people are listening to more music, and the market is growing, but the shrinking presence of new music in the U.S record industry may leave some frontline record labels scratching their heads.
At the same time; catalog music acquisition specialists are smiling from ear to ear. Especially Hipgnoses Song Management has, using cash from its Blackstone-backed private fund, acquired the song catalog of superstar artist and songwriter Justin Timberlake.
Hipgnosis says it has acquired «100% of all of Timberlake`s copyright, ownership and financial interests of the Writer and Publisher`s share of Public Performance income, and the catalog of musical compositions written by Justin Timberlake.
Justin Timberlake’s sales are currently in excess of over 150 million, including 88 million as a solo artist and 70 million with NSYNC. Timberlake sold everything to Hipgnosis and its $1 billion-backed Blackstone fund. Wow. What a deal.
In March, Hipgnosis Song Management announced the acquisition of a career-spanning catalog created by legendary Canadian artist and composer Leonard Cohen. But Timberlake and Cohen is not alone.
Bob Dylan has also sold his music catalog for $400 million, and it is a trend among top artists. Bruce Springsteen did it. Neil Young, Stevie Nicks, David Bowie, Dire Straits, John Lennon, Fleetwood Mac, and Shakira did the same.
40,000 new songs are being uploaded to Spotify every single day, but who cares? People are listening to old music and that market is skyrocketing.
Let me end this story by saying this: Good music is good business. That`s it.