Tunecore Artists Earned $83 Million in Q1 — With Heavy Metal and J-Pop Leading the Way

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Tunecore announced today that its artists earned $83 million in Q1 2019, a 21% increase over the same period last year.

Tunecore says its total artist distribution revenue is now over $1.5 billion.

Distribution income for Tunecore artists hit $308 million in 2018, a 28% year-over-year increase. Tunecore artists also saw a 42% rise in publishing administration royalties in 2018, according to the company.

YouTube monetization grew over 48% in 2018 compared to the previous year.

Tunecore is a longtime music distributor, and one of the first to enable direct-to-platform delivery for artists.

Of course, what started with download stores has now shifted heavily towards streaming.  These days, iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, Deezer, and Google Play are all supported by the service.

Tunecore says the total streams and downloads of its music has hit 199.3 billion in the past year.  That’s an 83% increase over 2017, signaling growth in both streaming demand and artist distribution volume.

Interestingly, the fastest-growing genres didn’t include trap or EDM.

Instead, heavy metal and J-pop continue to be the fastest-growing genres worldwide for Tunecore.  These were the biggest genre gainers, per the company’s figures:

  • Heavy metal – 154% increase
  • J-Pop – 133% increase
  • R&B/Soul – 68% increase
  • K-Pop – 58% increase
  • World music – 57% increase
  • Instrumental – 42% increase

Also worth noting is that Tunecore’s biggest gains are coming outside of the US and Europe.

That’s happening in parallel with streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, which seem to be maxing out on tier-1 markets.  Accordingly, here’s how the regional growth picture looked for Tunecore this past quarter.

  • Africa – 146% growth
  • Asia – 52% growth
  • Oceania – 38% growth
  • Europe – 35% growth
  • South America – 32% growth
  • North America – 31% growth

The astonishing growth rate in Africa shows just how vital the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) region is for streaming services. Major music streaming services like Spotify, Deezer, and TIDAL have been working overtime to expand their presence in the region, which of course benefits Tunecore artists (and all artists looking to expand their potential audiences, for that matter).

Tunecore Streaming Growth by Country in 2018

  • Morocco – 243% increase
  • South Africa – 125% increase
  • Italy – 108% increase
  • India – 89% increase
  • Turkey – 81% increase
  • Czech Republic – 72% increase

The massive growth in Morocco and South Africa fueled the growth in Africa, though Italy, India, and Turkey all saw huge jumps in growth.