From a sort of “top/down” model where record labels and executives were the decision makers on what was released, when it was released, and what talent was discovered, to a globally connected marketplace where the decision makers now appear to be the consumers and even other artists themselves finding their own talent and starting their own labels, control over an artist’s music is shifting.
Artists are becoming more and more involved in multiple aspects of the industry; it’s not just about making music and selling records anymore. The technology of even artists making and producing their own beats From touring to merchandise, and artists themselves are hurting to find ways to make money, so they are exploring other outlets and possibilities. From free releases of their music to surprise album releases, artists are having to think outside of the box to keep the music going.
With diminishing income from actual songs, royalties have become king for many artists, and 2015 could be the year of a major shift in royalties. In early 2015,Congress will be reintroduced to the RESPECT Act, which will enable all digital performances of songs to become eligible royalty, including those before the cut off year of 1972. With the digitization of the industry, where record sales no longer make up a viable pay check, royalties are a bigger deal. And with up to 15% of the recordings played on Apollo digital radio services from 1972 and before, that can amount to about $60 million in royalties.