Browsing Tag

2023 Music Industry Trends

Patreon Has Finally Added Free Fan Membership Tiers

Even though Patreon has been gaining popularity as a platform, many independent artists still feel uncomfortable with setting up a profile and tapping their fans for cash in exchange for exclusive content.

We get it. It is an uncomfortable position to put yourself in, especially if your social media posts announcing your profile result in tumbleweed and you are conscious of the economic times we are all trying to navigate. Knowing disposable income is dissolving, Patreon has moved with the times and finally added free fan membership tiers. But that isn’t the only innovation from the platform, which can now facilitate Direct-to-Fan digital sales; in a similar way to Bandcamp.

While Bandcamp probably isn’t quaking in its metaphorical boots quite yet after the change was announced on the 21st of June, it is a major milestone for the subscription-based platform. Going forward, the platform will enable creators, including musicians, to hawk their digital wares to fans on the platform. In a press release, a spokesperson for Patreon dubbed the new changes as a mark of a new era of creative control.

Obviously, the platform will make its own gains from becoming a new form of e-commerce platform; however, they chose to market it as a new way for their creators to strengthen their relationships with their communities and build sustainable businesses.

Patreon is quickly becoming the antithesis of platforms such as TikTok, which makes it easy to become a viral sensation overnight and impossible to create long-lasting and meaningful connections with their communities.

How Do Patreon’s Free Membership Tiers Work?

The new membership tiers are free-to-use for fans and creators alike; the platform created the tiers to build a ‘freemium gateway’, for new artists and creators to bolster their fanbase on the site.

Creators already established on the platform will also benefit, as they can add more casual fans and diehard fans who don’t have the cash to burn on memberships to their community.

There are two main benefits for artists and creators:

  1. Once fans are on the platform, they will get a feel of it and potentially be more likely to pay for a paid membership to their favourite artists’ exclusive content.
  2. Artists can send updates to their community through the Patreon mobile app and via the web without needing to pay for sponsored posts or having to negate algorithms that will diminish the reach of posts.

How to Sell Digital Products via Patreon

Getting your music and other digital products in as many places as possible is important for independent artists looking to expand their reach by casting their nets as wide as possible.

Now, along with ensuring that your music is on YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, Tidal and Apple Music, you will also want to publish it on Patreon.

As of June 2023, musicians can sell the usual digital wares, such as songs, albums, and EPs, via the platform and any other form of digital content, including artwork, music videos, live performances and podcast episodes. The site now facilitates global payment processing, which will make downloadable files accessible to the general public and fans with memberships alike.

To sell your music or other downloadables via Patreon, create a product page and set a price for your content. Once your browsable shop is open for trade, you can publicly share the shop on social media platforms, your official website and other streaming services which make it harder to see any revenue from your audience’s interest in your music – we’re obviously talking about Spotify here!

For commerce sales, Patreon will keep a 5% percentage of all sales, plus fees for payment processing, applicable taxes, currency conversion and payouts. For paid membership fees, the percentage is slightly higher at 8%.

You can read the full update on the Patreon website here.

How Popular is Patreon in 2023?

In the last decade since Patreon’s inception in 2013, the platform has become one of the most successful ones of its kind. As of February 2023, Patreon:

  • Has over 8 million active Patrons.
  • Allows its creators to collectively make over $100 million each month.
  • Has over 250,00 active creators, with over 220,00 having at least one patron.
  • Has paid $3.5 billion to its creators.

A few months ago, we wondered what has the potential to replace Spotify and considered Patetron as an option. With these two new major shakeups, the platform has become a frontrunner in the race, at least for artists and creators with hardcore fanbases willing to part with cash to support them. It may not be able to boast the same seamless and effortless streaming capacity yet, but who knows what the future holds for the platform.

Article by Amelia Vandergast

What 2022 Music Industry Data Predicts for the Industry in 2023

Industry in 2023

An analytical market report on the music industry in 2022 has predicted that even if the global economy is in for a challenging year, there are several indicative factors that point towards a positive future for the music industry in 2023.

That is not to say the industry won’t go through a shake-up. Some markets will perform better than others. But it is a reason to hold out some hope for the future of music. And more importantly, rally against the cries that the music industry is already dead in the water.

It is, of course, expected that the market analysis report of music in 2022 showed positive signs of growth following the previous pandemic years. However, the performance in some sectors has outperformed several analysts’ expectations.

Record Labels Marked a 14.3% Increase in Revenue

Love or loathe them; record labels will always be integral to the music industry. Their annual performance through 2023 proved that plenty of people still have a ravenous appetite for music. Furthermore, they’re willing to part with their cash for it!

In 2021, the experts in entertainment research MIDiA forecasted an 11.8% growth for 2022. Their expectations were exceeded by a 14.3% upturn.  Even after Q4 was heavily hit by the downturns in the wider economic market.

In any industry, double-digit growth, regardless of how tough the environment, is a commendable performance, which bodes incredibly well for the music industry in 2023. If record labels get their way and squeeze more of the $12 billion in revenue from TikTok as compensation for the number of plays licenced music gets on the app, music label income in 2023 will skyrocket exponentially! One of the four major labels is currently trying to prise 2x – 10x more revenue from the app.

Publishers Outperformed Labels in 2022

Music labels weren’t the only domain in the music industry in 2022 to mark a phenomenal rise. Music publishers saw an increase of 21.1%. Which came down to the rise of historic digital royalty settlements, the dynamic rebound of income for traditional performances, and improvement within the domain of streaming royalty sharing.

Music publishers made massive strides in 2022 to ensure that artists, songwriters, and composers receive a fairer cut for their creativity and talent. The drastic increase in revenue that made its way to creators reflects the hard work on behalf of the publishers. It’s funny how that good news didn’t make the rounds on social media along with the other disparaging commentaries!

In addition to ensuring that artists receive their royalties, music publishers also help to generate additional opportunities for artists, which is easier said than done in the complex digital market. If you are an independent artist looking for a new music publisher, DCD Media PLC, The List, and Zappar are all highly credible UK-based publishers worth looking into before you gun for the major-league publishers.

The Consumer Demand for Digital Streaming Platforms Increased

The revenue growth for digital streaming platforms saw a far more modest increase of 6.2% through 2022. That statistic was pulled down slightly by the failings of Tencent Music Entertainment which has dramatically slowed down in China. Yet, Spotify pulled up the figures with its 7.7% global market growth.

So, all those articles you saw about everyone cancelling their Spotify subscriptions due to the cost-of-living crisis didn’t show the full picture. Neither did the news articles swarming around artists pulling their music from the platform and demanding you jump ship due to Joe Rogan spreading misinformation with his podcasts! It already feels like it was another lifetime ago, but it was only in February 2022 when Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, amongst others, threw their public tantrum.

The Live Music Industry’s Mercurial Year Spells an Uncertain Future in 2023

Live music started to make a strong comeback with markable and predictable growth following the pandemic. Once restrictions lifted and music fans lost their hesitancy over being in overcrowded spaces, there was strong consumer demand for gig and festival tickets.

However, the good times could only last so long for many music fans who had to find ways of cutting back their expenditure when the recession officially hit in quarter three of 2022. After many music fans reported that heading to live music events and going out is one of the first things they will cut back on, the live music industry is unlikely to see the same prosperity as digital streaming platforms and music rightsholders.

How the Lipstick Effect Will Trace Across the Music Industry in 2023

If anything is the epitome of a self-fulfilling prophecy, it is the phenomenon of the recession. As consumers adopt a spend less, save more approach to their budget, companies anticipate the slowdown by reducing their output, which, in turn, hits revenue growth, impacts suppliers and leads to redundancies.

The nature of recessions is something that artists should consider when making their next move. However, given all the other trends in the music industry, there is still evidence that streaming and music rightsholders can thrive through the onslaught of the recession which is expected to trim 1.3% off GDP growth. This is due to the lipstick effect.

The lipstick effect is a psychological theory born from economic observations made in previous recessions, which noted that during times of financial pressure, consumers veer away from big-ticket items and focus on less expensive luxury goods, such as designer lipsticks.

Like a £30 lipstick, music subscriptions, records, CDs, and merch fall into affordable luxury category. After all, music fans need some entertainment if they can’t afford to see their favourite artists performing live!

In conclusion, the general performance of the music industry through 2022 laid down several cornerstones to ensure that despite the recessionary conditions, independent artists still have a viable path to walk down. It may seem surreal to suggest the overall picture for 2022 was positive. But the data doesn’t lie!


A&R Factory will share more tips for independent artists to make the best out of the industry through 2023. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with all the latest music industry trends and news! For one-to-one advice, contact our artist development team for more insight and support.


Article by Amelia Vandergast