Record labels remain leading supporters of music and artists

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US$5.8 billion global, yearly investment in combined A&R, marketing (33.8% of revenues)

Record labels invest US$5.8 billion in artists worldwide through combined Artists & Repertoire (A&R) and marketing annually, according to IFPI, representing the recording industry worldwide.

The figures are featured in IFPI’s dedicated microsite, Record companies: Powering the music ecosystem, which highlights a key role of record labels in helping artists and their music achieve creative and commercial success.

Record labels invested US$4.1 billion in A&R and US$1.7 billion in marketing for artists and their music in 2017 for a combined total of US$5.8 billion. This equates to approximately 33.8% of global recorded music revenues invested annually into breaking, developing and supporting artists around the world.

These figures reflect a continuation of labels’ commitment to artist investment. When last reported in 2015, the combined investment was US$4.5 billion (reflecting a 3.1% increase from 2015 to 2017), or 27% of revenues at that time.

A&R – the record industry equivalent of R&D

Recorded music is an exceptionally investment-intensive business. If A&R is considered to be the recording industry’s equivalent of other industries’ Research and Development (R&D) then the proportion of record company revenue invested in this area (23.9%) is higher than virtually any other industry.

Record labels provide artists with unique support

This investment of financial resources is bolstered by that of human resources – teams of highly creative and driven individuals within the record companies. Together, this global network of teams (including, but not limited to, A&R and marketing) work together with artists to help turn their creative ambitions into a reality.

IFPI also launched today an interactive microsite focused on the role of a record label and the specialist teams that work in partnership with artists.

Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI, said: “Record labels are trusted partners, collaborators and a driving force helping artists to achieve their creative vision and commercial success. As today’s announcement makes clear, they are also the leading investors in music. In today’s competitive music market, the role of a record company has never been more relevant. Whilst artists have a myriad of choices in how to develop their career, a record company offers unique, unmatched support.”

“As the industry continues to grow and develop, so too does the investment from record companies – not only in developing and breaking artists but in the people and infrastructure that enable this to happen all over the world,” he added.

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