×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Music’s Streaming Gold Rush Is a Global Game: Roll Up (Guest Column)

"We are entering a time where breaking in America is no longer the primary goal or the definitive sign that an artist has made it."

The music business is entering a golden age thanks to a streaming boom that’s growing exponentially in real-time. This is remarkable because, just 15 years ago, the industry was nearly in shambles, scrambling to recover from a loss of $10 billion in revenue and more than 71,000 abolished music industry jobs in the U.S. alone. With the rise of file-sharing sites such as LimeWire and Napster came rampant piracy, which caused a dramatic decline in physical music revenues that not even the rise of digital sales on platforms like iTunes could cushion.

But in recent years, Spotify and Apple Music have been making serious headway in launching new initiatives and opening new markets worth tens of billions of dollars and it is changing the music business as we know it. It’s time to capitalize on this moment and go global!

We need to be thinking of new, creative ways to seize the incredible opportunity globalized streaming is offering and help grow the music industry. With Spotify available in 79 countries, there’s no reason for us not to be expanding our artists into each and every one of these territories, especially when a country like India — which saw Spotify launch officially yesterday — could potentially generate more than $430 million of subscription revenue. We are entering a time where breaking in America is no longer the primary goal or the definitive sign that an artist has made it.

Ariana Grande didn’t break streaming records by focusing her attention on the U.S. only. Her most popular cities on Spotify are London, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Quezon City in the Phillipines. Superstar producer and DJ Diplo is another example of an American artist who has tapped into international markets. Whether under his nom de plume, Silk City, L.S.D., or Major Lazer, Diplo focuses his tours and marketing efforts across the globe. His most popular cities include Mexico City, Paris, London and Amsterdam — a long way from Tupelo, Mississippi, where he was born.

Artists from New York and Los Angeles can’t afford to be complacent. American artists need to work with European, Asian, Latin American, and other international creatives to make global hits (look no further than “Despacito,” a chart-topper with roots in Puerto Rico, Colombia, Atlanta and Canada). And music managers and entrepreneurs must come together to build better, multi-territorial music companies and partnerships. We should be working to capture new and emerging markets, to bring our stars there and theirs here. To sit on the sidelines is unacceptable.

In fact, you could say globalization is already here. With the launch of Spotify’s Global Cultures Initiative in October 2018, along with their recent entry into India and plans to launch in a dozen more countries, music is reaching an audience that’s young, engaged and growing. There’s a hunger for music today. According to a 2018 Goldman Sachs report, the 13 to 34 demographic in the United States spends more money on music than any other age group. They are the driving force behind the industry’s resurgence, and also its future.

We are on the precipice of something huge. Streaming has already pulled the music business out of the rut that it was in for the better part of a decade, but globalization will generate rewards that could put us on equal footing with the film and video game industries. However, we can only get to this point if we all agree to expand our horizons and look beyond the realm of immediate possibilities.

Nick Jarjour is a manager at Maverick and an A&R executive for Atlantic Records. Follow him on Twitter at @NickJarjour and on Instagram

More Music

  • James Newton Howard Danny Elfman

    New Trend in Concert Halls: Original Music by Movie Composers — No Film Required

    Movie and TV composers are in greater demand than ever for, surprisingly, new music for the concert hall. For decades, concert commissions for film composers were few and far between. The increasing popularity of John Williams’ film music, and his visibility as conductor of the Boston Pops in the 1980s and ’90s, led to his [...]

  • Jonathan Lamy RIAA

    Jonathan Lamy Stepping Down From RIAA

    Jonathan Lamy, the Recording Industry Association of America’s longtime executive VP of communications and marketing, is stepping down from his post after 17 years, he announced today. As he put it in an email to Variety, “I started back in 2002, which means it’s been 17+ years, four different RIAA CEOs, three format changes and [...]

  • Suzi Quatro

    Suzi Quatro on Being a Pioneering Female Rocker: 'Women Have Balls!'

    For Suzi Quatro, portraying intimidating rocker chick Leather Tuscadero on the 1970s sitcom “Happy Days” was art imitating life. A veteran musician who came up in the rough and tumble rock scene of 1960s Detroit, her tough-but-sexy small-screen persona wasn’t an act, and it’s served Quatro well in her pioneering role as arguably the first [...]

  • Fat Joe

    Fat Joe Joins 'New York Undercover' Pilot at ABC (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fat Joe has been cast in the “New York Undercover” pilot currently in the works at ABC, Variety has learned exclusively. Picking up 20 years after the end of the original series, “New York Undercover” will follow detectives Nat Gilmore (Toby Sandeman) and Melissa Ortiz (Otmara Marrero) as they investigate the city’s most dangerous criminals from [...]

  • Danielle Brooks'Ain't Too Proud - The

    How 'Orange Is the New Black' Star Danielle Brooks Became a Broadway Producer

    Danielle Brooks earned a Tony nomination when she made her Broadway debut as Sofia in the 2015 revival of “The Color Purple,” but now the “Orange Is the New Black” star is working behind the scenes as a producer on the new jukebox musical “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations.” “I [...]

  • Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown, a leading platform for letting music fans know about upcoming concerts by their favorite artists, has acquired Hypebot, a news site publishing stories about the music industry and technology, and its sister site MusicThinkTank. “I’m proud to share that Hypebot and MusicThinkTank have been acquired by Bandsintown,” wrote Bruce Houghton, the founder of the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content