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Facts & Research


2024 | Industry Economics

Labels At Work: The Music Business in the Digital Age | RIAA

Major record labels are still focused on what we do best: finding great artists, helping them reach their creative potential, and connecting them to fans. The difference is that we’re embracing new digital tools to do a better job than ever before.

We’re essentially venture capitalists for music: investing in the great, unknown artists of today so they can become the superstars of tomorrow.

We’re still evolving, but a quick glance over the last decade or so proves that we’re on the right track:

  • Over 2,500 digital services licensed and operational today.
  • $13.4 billion spent by major labels to find new artists and help them reach an audience.
  • $20 billion spent by major labels on artist and songwriting royalties.
  • Artist royalties paid by major labels increased over 36% as a share of major labels’ net sales and gross licensing revenue.
  • Songwriting royalties paid by major labels increased 44% as a share of net sales revenue.

Source: Recording Industry Association of America