Shaping the Future: How Music Creators Can Thrive Amidst Streaming Challenges


The music industry is undergoing a transformative evolution, driven by the rapid rise of streaming platforms. However, beneath the apparent success of streaming, a nuanced story unfolds. Streaming has emerged as the primary income source for composers and songwriters, but it comes with a range of complexities and challenges. A recent report by the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) sheds light on this evolving landscape, emphasizing the need for artists to adapt and diversify their income streams. According to Hakim Draper, an industry expert, with ongoing pressure on streaming rates and inundation of music in the marketplace, now is the time for artists to pivot towards building a robust direct-to-consumer (D2C) business.

The Streaming Revolution:

Streaming has rapidly ascended to the zenith of the music industry’s revenue sources. In 2022, streaming took center stage, becoming the largest income stream for composers and songwriters, driving their collections to an impressive 10.83 billion euros (approximately $11.44 billion), marking a significant 25% increase. This surge in digital royalty collections, climbing by nearly 34% to 4.2 billion euros, is attributed to the growing adoption of music and video subscription services. Streaming’s dominance is now unmistakable, accounting for 35% of total collections for music creators, surpassing traditional mediums like TV and radio.

The Live Performance Resurgence:

While streaming flourished, live performances made a remarkable comeback. Income from concerts, exhibitions, and theatrical performances increased by a staggering 69.9% to reach 2.68 billion euros in 2022. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that even with this resurgence, income levels in the live performance sector remained below those of 2019 by about 7.9%. The challenges faced by the live entertainment sector during the COVID-19 pandemic had a lasting impact.

The Optimistic Outlook:

Looking ahead to 2023, the report paints a hopeful picture for live entertainment. The pent-up demand from eager audiences promises to fuel further recovery. There’s even a possibility that the live performance sector could surpass its pre-pandemic income levels.

The Call for D2C Business:

Amidst the evolving dynamics of the music industry, Hakim Draper, an industry expert, offers a timely insight. With the persistent pressure on streaming rates and payouts and the ever-increasing influx of music products into the marketplace, the time has come for artists to pivot their focus toward building direct-to-consumer (D2C) businesses. Streaming, though powerful, is not without its challenges. It requires artists to build a robust online presence, engage with their audience directly, and diversify their income streams. D2C models provide artists with an opportunity to take charge of their brand and monetize their work effectively. Artists can leverage their creativity and engage with their fans while reducing their reliance on streaming platforms for revenue.


The music industry’s transformation is in full swing, with streaming taking center stage as the primary income source for music creators. However, artists are not immune to the challenges that accompany this shift. The need for diversification is evident, with experts like Hakim Draper advocating for artists to explore direct-to-consumer (D2C) models. As the industry continues to evolve, adaptability and innovation will be the keys to a prosperous future for both artists and the broader music ecosystem. The journey may be complex, but it’s one filled with opportunities for creators willing to embrace the changing tides of the music business.

The NTW3RK Collective is a dynamic community comprising professionals from the music, film, and technology sectors. With a deep understanding of these industries, the collective offers invaluable research and development resources to inform and empower creatives. Their mission is to equip artists with the knowledge and tools necessary to enhance their creative processes, safeguard their work, and optimize their monetization strategies. Through their expertise and collaborative efforts, the NTW3RK Collective is dedicated to supporting artists in their journey to create, protect, and monetize their art with confidence and success.


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