The music business has witnessed significant changes in the recent years. Physical sales have taken a nose dive while music streaming has propelled the once fading recorded music business. This has resulted in a shakeup of the powers that prevail over the industry with new faces joining the game and many older ones fading out.
In 2019 Billboard’s ‘Power 100’ list has 55 new faces while 25 young faces have been introduced under the ‘New Power Generation’ list. The regular names who have been making the list year after year have not been included this year strictly due to an editorial decision to refocus the Power 100 on core music-industry companies.
The top 5 who made the ‘Billboard Power 100 List 2019’ are:
- Sir Lucian Grainge – Chairman/CEO, Universal Music Group
In 2018, UMG was the most dominant music group. Its market share for current recordings exceeded 40 percent, nearly double that of second-place Sony Music Entertainment and greater than Sony and UMG’s other rival, Warner Music Group, combined. In the first three quarters of 2018, UMG labels and Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) posted revenue of $4.9 bn, up from $4.4 bn in the same period of 2017.
- Michael Rapino – President/CEO, Live Nation Entertainment
The third quarter of 2018 was Live Nation’s best since its formation in 2010, according to financial documents filed by the company. The Revenue was up 11 percent for the quarter to $3.8 bn. In 2018, approximately 90 mn customers in 41 countries attended a show promoted by Live Nation. Over 550 mn tickets were sold creating an annual revenue of over $10 bn. In 2018, Live Nation acquired Brazil’s Rock in Rio festival, Argentine concert promoter DF Entertainment and Australia’s Rhythm and Vines Festival.
- Daniel Ek – Founder/CEO, Spotify, Dawn Ostroff – Chief content officer, Spotify, Barry Mccarthy – CFO, Spotify, Horacio Gutierrez – General counsel/ VP Business & Legal affairs, Spotify, & Nick Holmsten – Global head of music, Spotify
Spotify began 2018 as the dominant streaming service that had helped save the recorded-music business. By year end it had added around 87 mn subscribers. Spotify also started allowing independent artists to pitch their music directly to playlists. In the first 3 months of this initiative, over 67,000 artists and labels submitted recordings and more than 10,000 acts were added to editorial playlists. Spotify could close fiscal year 2018 with $2.2 bn in U.S. revenue, a 26 percent gain from 2017, and over 200 million monthly active users — 55 mn of whom are stateside alone.
- Irving Azoff – Chairman/CEO, The Azoff Company & Jeffrey Azoff – Partner, Full Stop Management
The Azoff Company includes Full Stop Management, performance rights organization Global Music Rights, Oak View Group and LaneOne, a premium experience company. The past year Azoff Company played a key role in the Music Modernization Act, brokering a last-minute deal among SiriusXM, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group. The company also invested in a $125 mn December buyout of Madison Square Garden’s 50 percent interest in Azoff MSG Entertainment.
- Rob Stringer – CEO, Sony Music Entertainment
The leadership shake-ups at Sony’s top three labels led to a 3.5 percent slip in Sony’s current market share, to 21.13 percent, in 2018. Still the company did not lose profit and it was the most successful year since 2000. The company paid out $750 mn in Spotify stock profits to Sony’s artists and the indie labels it distributes.
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A committee of Billboard editors and reporters curated the 2019 Power 100 ranking after taking into consideration various factors including, but not limited to, Billboard’s Top Artists and Top Tours of 2018 rankings, nominations by peers, colleagues and superiors, impact on consumer behaviour as measured by metrics such as chart, sales and streaming performance, social media impressions, radio and TV audiences reached, career trajectory, and overall impact in the industry, using data available as of January 24 2019. Nielsen Music’s market share for album plus track-equivalent and stream-equivalent album consumption units, and Billboard’s quarterly top 10 publisher rankings were considered for the current U.S. record-label market share. Financial results were also taken into consideration where available.
Agency rankings were based, in part, on an analysis of the top 125 grossing touring artists based on figures reported to Billboard Boxscore for the period of Jan. 1, 2018, to Jan. 24, 2019. Unless otherwise noted, Billboard Boxscore and Nielsen Music are the sources for tour grosses and sales/streaming data, respectively. Unless otherwise noted, album streaming figures cited represent collective U.S. on-demand audio totals for that album’s tracks. Song/artist streaming figures represent combined U.S. on-demand audio and video totals.
This year Billboard also introduced The New Power Generation list which features 25 global music industry professionals who have had a major impact on the music business and have acted as disrupters. These innovators and game changers were responsible for unknown talents topping the charts, introducing non-traditional but successful methods of album release as well as popularising non English music globally.
The Top 3 that made it to the ‘The New Power Generation’ list are:
- Phylicia Fant, 40 years & Shawn Holiday, 41 years – Heads of urban music at Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Holiday was instrumental in two of last year’s most impactful releases: Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” with Cardi B and Travis Scott’s ‘Astroworld’. In 2019, Holiday and Fant will focus on rising rap talents like Polo G, Yung Bleu and Lil Tjay while supporting planned releases from established artists Solange and Juicy J.
- ADAM ALPERT, 38 years – CEO, Disruptor Records & Selector Songs
The longtime manager of The Chainsmokers chose a non-traditional “building album” strategy to roll out the duo’s latest LP, Sick Boy. Released in 2018, the LP collected a series of singles released regularly over the previous 12 months. This ensured the act stayed relevant throughout the year and also helped the act score its third No. 1 on the Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart.
- Noah Assad, 28 years – The new Latin Starmaker
Under Assad’s management, Bad Bunny became Latin music’s breakout star of 2018, landing 27 hits on Hot Latin Songs and six titles on the Hot 100, including the Latin trap artist’s inescapable No. 1 with Cardi B and J Balvin ‘I Like It’. He also expanded into publishing and has signed over 75 songwriters.
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