Even ‘Big’ Artists Don’t Have Control Over Their Labels

Iggy Azalea’s most recent single, “Switch,” didn’t do so well (relatively).  Just looking at Spotify streams, of her Top 10 single streams, “Switch” is #9 and going nowhere.  It’s had just under 19 million streams (compared to “Fancy,” her biggest hit, which has garnered 325 million streams).  A label might look at this and say, “She’s toast.”

That’s probably a little harsh, but when your new single doesn’t even get 50% of the streams of the next single (“Pretty Girls” has 40 million streams), the label might want to cut its losses early.  Plus, there’s the theory of opportunity cost.  Does a label spend money and time on another Iggy Azalea song or on a song by another artist who is trending upward?  You know the answer to this.

So does Iggy.  And she’s not happy.  But she has no control.  Click.  Read.  And remember, just because you were at the top of the mountain once, that doesn’t mean you’ll always be there.

Now, don’t feel too sorry for Ms. Azalea.  As long as she doesn’t follow the Johnny Depp model of spending, she should be okay financially for the rest of her life.   Her kids will be okay too.  And their kids.  Will Iggy be happy?  Well, that’s another story that only maturity and a good therapist can solve.


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Professor David Philp is Assistant Professor Music Management & Popular Music Studies at William Paterson University. He is the co-host of the only FREE advice college radio-based music & entertainment industry talk show in America, Music Biz 101 & More, which airs live most Wednesday nights and is available as a podcast HERE every night (days too).  Your favorite professor is also co-author (with Dr. Steve Marcone) of Managing Your Band – 6th Edition.  Reach him at PhilpD@wpunj.edu or find him on LinkedIn HERE.

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