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Music Industry News 2024
by Alex Cosper

US Music Publishing Revenue Up 10.7%

The National Music Publishers' Association released wholesale data on June 12, 2024 that showed U.S. publishing revenue for 2023 rose 10.74% to $6.21 billion. But this percentage jump was much lower than the previous year, which saw an increase of 19.25%. The noticeable spike for 2022 coincided with the reopening of music venues following the pandemic. Copyright owners benefited from an increase in the mechanical royalty rate paid to publishers, as determined by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB).

Meanwhile, the Recording Association of America (RIAA) has reported that music wholesale revenues hit $11 billion in 2023, which was 7% higher than 2022. Recording revenues generally far outpace publishing revenues, although publishing revenues have increased compared with last decade. Publishing revenues in 2013, for example, were $2.2 billion and have nearly tripled since then.

Dramarama Singer Explains How Airplay on One Station Led to a Big Hit

Dramarama singer John Easdale gave an exclusive interview to Playlist Research on May 14, 2024 about his career and how their song "Anything Anything" became a classic from KROQ airplay in the eighties. Some reports suggest it's been the most requested song in the station's history and still gets played in 2024. Easdale talks about the band's beginnings with a record store in New Jersey then an indie label deal. After KROQ jock Rodney Bingenheimer bought a copy in Los Angeles, he started playing it on his specialty show and the following grew from there. Easdale says the band is still active.

A Century of Radio Interviews: Bill Gamble on Station Experiences

"A Century of Radio Interviews" podcast guest on May 8, 2024 is radio consultant Bill Gamble. He is currently General Manager of Mid-West Broadcasting in South Bend, Indiana. Bill talks about his deep broadcasting career going back to the 1970s. After starting as a radio personality at a station in a small town outside Grand Rapids, Michigan, he advanced to larger markets. Programming Alternative station Q101 in Chicago was a major career milestone during the nineties. Other markets where he's consulted or programmed radio include St. Louis, Philadelphia, Tampa, Minneapolis, Milwaukee and more.

Sam Ash Announces Closing All Stores

Family-owned Sam Ash, one of the leading musical instrument stores in America, announced May 2, 2024 that it would be closing all of its 44 stores across 16 states due to financial difficulties. The store originally was based in Brooklyn, New York and was launched by Sam Ashkinase (1897-1956) in 1924. The store attracted both musicians and DJs seeking musical instruments, recording gear, sound systems and DJ lighting equipment. The store rose into national prominence in the 1960s when it began selling electric guitars to fuel interest in Beatlemania.

Christopher Minister Discusses His Career in Music and Radio

Christopher Minister, who goes by "The Minister" on WRAP in Monmouth Ocean, New Jersey, told Playlist Research in an April 2024 interview he is managing independent artist Devon Thompson, who was recently endorsed by guitar manufacturer Gibson. The discussion covers his long career that has spanned over three decades, working for radio stations, record labels and pursuing artist management. He talks about managing Daniel Ash of Love and Rockets, promoting the band Tool for the Zoo Entertainment label and his days in alternative radio. He worked for Phoenix station KEDJ and Salt Lake City station KJQN in the 1990s.

Recording Artists Who Died in 2024

• Pop vocalist and TV star David Soul died January 3, 2024 at 80
• Pop singer/songwriter Melanie (Safka) died January 23, 2024 at 76
• Country artist Toby Keith died February 5, 2024 at 62
• Alternative artist Mojo Nixon (Neill McMillan Jr) died February, 7, 2024 at 66
• TV star/singer Steve Lawrence died March 7, 2024 at 88 from Alzheimer's disease
• Singer/songwriter Karl Wallinger of World Party died March 10, 2024 at 66
• Pop singer/songwriter Eric Carmen died March 11, 2024 at 74
• R&B singer/pianist Clarence "Frogman" Henry died April 7, 2024 at 87
• Guitarist Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers Band died April 18, 2024 at 80
• Keyboardist for the Moody Blues, Mike Pinder, died April 24, 2024 at 82
• Early rock guitar soloist Duane Eddy died April 30, 2024 at 86
• Producer/engineer Steve Albini died May 7, 2024 at 61
• Iron Butterfly Founder/singer/organist Doug Ingle died May 24, 2024 at 78
• 2 Live Crew rapper/bassist Mark D. Ross aka Brother Marquis died June 3, 2024 at 57

2024 R&R Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its 2024 inductees on April 21, 2024. Those inductees who made the final cut were: Mary J. Blige, Cher, Dave Matthews Band, Foreigner, Peter Frampton, Kool & The Gand, Ozzy Osbourne and A Tribe Called Quest. Other awards will be given to Alexis Korner, John Mayall, Big Mama Thornton, Jimmy Buffett, MC5, Dionne Warwick, Norman Whitfield and Suzanne de Passe. The awards ceremony is scheduled for October 19, 2024 in Cleveland. The event will be streamed live on Disney+, along with a prime-time special on ABC.

Interview with Ex-Warner VP Howie Klein on Career from 1960s-Present

Howie Klein, who served as Warner Bros. Records VP and Reprise Records President in the nineties, gave an exclusive interview to Playlist Research recorded April 13, 2024. The online video conference showed Klein in his Los Angeles home. He talked about the evolution of his music, radio and writing career from the sixties through the present. Through his journey, he played important roles in the development of hippy music, punk, new wave and alternative rock. One of his most successful acts has been Green Day, who sold well over 10 million units in the nineties.

Radio Consultant Lee Arnold Explains Durability of Classic Rock

Even though the percentage of population that regularly listens to AM or FM radio has been steadily shrinking the past few decades, classic rock still commands large audiences. Rock radio consultant Lee Arnold explains why the format has lasted so long. Arnold has programmed winning rock stations in Boston, Detroit, Tampa, Milwaukee, Orlando and more.

Recent Music Trends for Musicians to Analyze

Music instructor and advanced musician Rick Beato explains some of the trends that have impacted the Billboard charts in recent years. He looks at data reflecting the decline of hip hop and the increase of rock and country entries since the pandemic.

2024 Grammys Show Sees Audience Uptick from Last Year

The 66th Annual GRAMMY Awards Show was broadcast on CBS and held at Arena in Los Angeles on February 4, 2024. The event was hosted by Trevor Noah, who has done the job on three earlier occasions. While SZA enjoyed the most nominations with 9, the top award winner of the night was Phoebe Bridgers, who took home 4 awards.

Not including streaming data from Paramount+, the broadcast was seen by over 17 million viewers, according to Nielsen. The 2023 event, by comparison, drew an audience of 12.5 million views. Below are some of the key awards given out.

RECORD OF THE YEAR: Miley Cyrus, Kid Harpoon, Michael Pollack - "Flowers"
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Taylor Swift, Jack Antonoff, Serban Ghenea - Midnights
SONG OF THE YEAR: Billie Eillish, FINNEAS - "What Was I Made For?"
BEST NEW ARTIST: Victoria Monet
BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE: Miley Cyrus - "Flowers"
BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM: Taylor Swift - Midnights
BEST ROCK ALBUM: Paramore - This Is Why
BEST ROCK SONG: Boygenius - "Not Strong Enough"
BEST R&B ALBUM: Victoria Monet - Jaguar II
BEST R&B SONG: Songwriters SZA, Leon Thomas III, Babyface - "Snooze"
BEST RAP ALBUM: Killer Mike - Michael
BEST RAP SONG: Songwriters Future, Andre 3000, James Blake - "Scientists & Engineers"
BEST COUNTRY ALBUM - Lainey Wilson - Bell Bottom Country
BEST COUNTRY SONG - Chris Stapleton, Dan Wilson - "White Horse"
BEST JAZZ VOCAL ALBUM - Nicole Zuraitis - How Love Begins
BEST JAZZ INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM - Billy Childs - The Winds of Change

Indie Music Show Ari's Take Interviews AI Music Engineer

Ari Herstand's popular indie music business podcast Ari's Take on YouTube posted an interview on January 16, 2024 with a software engineer who is marketing AI-generated "wellness music." The video lives up to its title, raising the question, "Is AI Taking Royalties from Musicians and Composers?" The AI recording artist interviewed is Oleg Stavitsky, co-founder of sound wellness firm Endel. He defends his work as high-quality sound, although he admits his firm has uploaded thousands of tracks over a few years, which is something humans typically aren't capable of producing.

Rick Beato Explains the Downfall of Rock Music

Music expert Rick Beato, one of the most popular music coaches on YouTube, released a video January 9, 2024 called "How Corruption and Greed Led to the Downfall of Rock Music." He and his music industry friend Jim Barber explain how the Telecom Act of 1996 triggered a destructive wave to both the radio and music industries. It reduced regional influences to broadcasting and put programming power in the hands of the few. It's an insightful conversation that identifies how corporate decision-making altered the course of rock music.

Audacy Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Radio group Audacy has seen its stock price steadily fall into the pennies in recent years, even after the stock went through a recent reverse split. On January 3, 2024, the Wall Street Journal reported the company would soon announce a bankruptcy filing. Several media outlets then reported on January 8 that Audacy was filing for bankruptcy protection to lower its $1.9 billion debt.

The company was once worth billions when it borrowed money to acquire CBS Radio in 2017, but at the start of the new year it has a market capitalization of under $1 million. Audacy, according to the report, is expected to file for Chapter 11 restructuring with the help of lenders. Formerly known as Entercom, the company was originally founded by Joseph Field in 1968.

Two Female Stars Abandon Music Industry

Female recording artists Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea both announced the first week of 2024 they were leaving the music industry. Spears posted on Instagram she'll "never return to the music industry," as she has not recorded a new album since 2016. "When I write," her post explained, "I write for fun or I write for other people." She went on to claim she's written over 20 songs for other artists the past few years and prefers ghostwriting. Meanwhile, the same week Iggy Azalea announced she has discontinued work on her next album so she can focus on other creative interests.

See 2023 Music News

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