Music Industry

Published on January 7th, 2019 | by Alan Cross

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In order to have a streaming hit in the US, you apparently need 9.1 songwriters

Anyone who’s ever looked at the songwriting credits of a typical contemporary pop song knows that we’ve come a long way cry from the days of Dylan and Lennon/McCartney.

According to Music Business Worldwide, the average streaming hit of today is the product of 9.1 songwriters.

[A]ccording to MBW research, the average number of credited songwriters in the US market’s Top 10 streaming hits of 2018, per-track, was a surprisingly high 9.1. (Pulling this number up: Drake’s In My Feelings, with 16 credited songwriters, and Nice For What, with 21; also, Cardi B/Bad Bunny/J Balvin’s I Like It, with 15. With these three tracks removed, the Top 10 average falls to 5.57.)

These figures are based on information stored in the ASCAP and/or BMI databases (we chose whichever offered the fullest information in each case), and includes all songwriting credits, including samples.

(The exception here is Travis Scott’s Sicko Mode, which is credited in some places, including Spotify, as having a whopping 30 songwriters, but is less-heftily credited by the US PROs. For our average number, we’ve gone for the eight names credited in Scott’s own Astroworld album notes.)

Across the Top 15 streaming tracks of 2018, that average songwriter-per-hit number stood at 8.13, while over the Top 20 it was 7.3.

Wow. Read more here.




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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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