D.I.Y.

New Musical Middle Class? AWAL Says ‘100’s’ Of Their Artists Are Making $100K+ Per Year

Kobalt’s artist services and distribution arm AWAL says that “hundreds of artists” are now making more than $100,000 a year using the company’s services and many have built catalogs with more than $1 million.

“Hundreds of AWAL artists have made this $100,000 annual revenue-earning very quickly with us, while dozens have rocketed right through to million dollar annual streaming payouts,” said Founder and Chairman of Kobalt Music Group, Willard Ahdritz. ” Lucrative streaming royalty payouts and catalog values no longer favor a select few as this pie is rapidly growing for artists, provided the artist has an AWAL-like deal in place. This is further validation the recorded music industry is in full transformation.”

AWAL’s claims were met with some skepticism online, particularly when considering that this revenue threshold was produced entirely without a key pillar of most artist’s incomes – live performances.

But when coupled with a growing global market for streaming music along with other trends alongside recent stats from Spotify that 43,000 artists (up from 30,000) now share 90% of its plays and income, AWAL’s claims ring true.

A New Musical Middle Class

Long before anyone had ever heard of Spotify, the hope in artist circles was to build a musical middle class. Devoid of traditional gatekeepers, these careers were made possible by digital distribution, direct to fan marketing and social media.

But the reality of lower payouts from music streaming forced most artists to concentrate on touring for as much as 80% of their overall income.

The pandemic has laid bare the folly of relying on touring or any single source of income; and the new stats from AWOL show that for at least some artists the digital dream has come true – even without touring.

While $100,000 per year – particularly for artists with more than one member – is far from rich, it does offer very real hope.

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