Report: Bleak Picture of Diversity in the Music Industry

A diverse team in the music industry sits at a table during a meeting
“The profile of top artists may give some in the industry the illusion that music is an inclusive business, but the numbers at the top tell a different story.”

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Despite the prominence of many diverse musicians, true diversity in the music industry has not been achieved.

“The profile of top artists may give some in the industry the illusion that music is an inclusive business, but the numbers at the top tell a different story.”

Last week, a report released by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at the University of Southern California gave insight into the music industry’s diversity. Although 47% of credited artists on 900 top pop songs since 2012 are people of color, most music industry executives are white males. 

Takeaways:

· 19.8% of the 4,060 executives researched are from
underrepresented racial and ethnic groups
· 35.3% of the total are women 
· Within a subset of 70 major and independent companies, 86.1% of
chief executives, chairmen, and presidents were both white and
male
· Researchers found 17.7 white male executives for every Black
female one

This past year, major record labels have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars in donations. However, this report (and others such as the Black Music Action Coalition Report Card) expose a weakness within the industry as well as highlight a lack of participation among music companies when it comes to publishing and explaining their diversity data. Now is the time for music companies to address racial disparities within their own organizations and look for ways to lead change within this massive industry. Ideascape and our member organizations are ready to help. Contact us today.

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