Creator Tools Industry

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SoundCloud, BandCamp, Soundtrap Competitive Landscape

SoundCloud is an online platform that lets artists share their work with fans worldwide and allows them to monetize their content. Bandcamp is similarly a platform where artists can share their music with fans and the musicians get 80%-85% of the profits. Soundtrap is a cloud-based platform that allows users to record their music from anywhere in the world and on all devices.


  • SoundCloud is based in Berlin, Germany.
  • By the end of 2017, Soundcloud recorded a revenue of $102 million. Revenue from 2018 is expected to be filed later in this year. However, the company reports that it surpassed its expected 2018 growth plans.
  • SoundCloud's platform allows artists to share their music. Users can connect with artists, and discover breakthrough tracks and raw demos. Users can also listen to podcasts on the platform.
  • SoundCloud is also an open platform that directly connects creators to their fans. Creators, (audio and music) can connect with worldwide users and also monetize their content. Creators can receive statistics and feedback from the SoundCloud community.
  • Soundcloud Basic is free and creators can upload up to 3 hours total.
  • Soundcloud Pro costs $6/month or $72/year. Creators can upload up to 6 hours total, count likes comments and downloads and also see who is playing their music and from which countries.
  • Soundcloud Pro Unlimited allows creators to upload unlimited tracks, count plays, likes and comments, see who is playing their music and from which countries and know what pages, social media sites are playing the creator's music. Pro unlimited costs $12/month or $144/year.
  • Soundcloud has 75 million monthly users and 175 million global users.
  • The platform has 20 million creators.


  • Bandcamp is a platform where artists and labels can share their music and fans can discover their music. The company is located in the United States.
  • The company's business model it to ensure that artists are paid fairly and transparently for their work.
  • 80 to 85% of everything purchased on Bandcamp goes to the artist; the rest goes to payment processor fees and the platform's revenue.
  • Bandcamp also allows an artist to add their physical merchandise such as vinyl, t-shirt, cassettes and/or tickets.
  • Bandcamp allows any artist to upload and release immediately unlike other streaming sites. Artists can also set up album preorders and choose which songs they want to offer before release.
  • It also provides an interactive platform for fans to follow what the people they are following are purchasing.
  • Artist accounts at Bandcamp are free.
  • Bandcamp Pro, however, costs $10 per month and gives artists deeper insights, batch upload, targeted messaging, ad-free video hosting, private streaming and more.
  • Bandcamp has an estimated annual revenue of $7 million.
  • There are 3,500 independent labels on Bandcamp and more than 600,000 artists. Bandcamp has over 1 million installs on the Google Play Store.


  • Spotify acquired Soundtrap in 2017. Soundtrap has $1M in estimated annual revenue. The company is located in Sweden.
  • Soundtrap is a cloud-based audio recording platform that works with all operating systems. The platform allows users to record from all over the world. The platform is also easy to use for creators of music and audio content.
  • It allows users to record from any device and all records are stored in their cloud. It also allows users to collaborate in real-time with band mates, other creators and others.
  • Soundtrap can be used by people of various levels of musical interest and is being used in the K-12 to higher levels of education.
  • Soundtrap Basic is free. Soundtrap Premium for music makers is $7.99 per month billed annually; it provides unlimited projects, over 4280 loops, over 550 instruments, and Antares Auto-Tune®. Soundtrap Supreme for Music Makers is $11.99 per month (billed annually) and provides an additional priority mixing and high-quality downloads.
  • Soundtrap for Story Tellers also costs $11.99 per month (billed annually). It offers unlimited projects, 8 hours of interactive transcripts, remote interviews, allows users to upload the podcast to Spotify, high-quality downloads, and more.
  • Soundtrap Complete costs $13.99 per month billed annually; it provides everything that is available for music makers and storytellers.
  • Soundtrap has over 500,000 installs on Google Play Store.
  • A statement by Spotify stated that Soundtrap joined a team at Spotify to help millions of artists connect with millions of fans.

Research Strategy

We leveraged a compilation of industry websites, blogs, and articles in well-known industry publications, such as Billboard, to curate a comprehensive competitive landscape. We also sourced a majority directly from the official websites of the requested platforms to provide more accurate information. To first answer the research question, we began by looking through the platforms' websites for information that is relevant to each platform. This search was partially successful and we were able to determine the pricing and a detailed description of each of their services and features. To determine the revenue obtained by these companies, we looked through industry reports and journals and we were quickly able to determine Soundcloud's revenue as of 2017. The estimated revenue obtained by the other two platforms, Bandcamp and Soundtrap were not readily available from original sources, so third-party, but credible, databases were used (e.g., Crunchbase).

Regarding the number of users for Soundtrap and Bandcamp, these data remained unavailable despite our efforts in searching the company websites, press releases, industry publications, expert blogs and journals. However, we were able to find a direct quote from a Spotify official who noted that Soundtrap would be able to cater to millions of fans. Though useful, this figure was vague and not definitive. To determine an estimated number of users/subscribers we looked at the number of downloads the platforms' apps had on the Google Play Store and Apple Store, the biggest downloading platforms globally. Unfortunately, Apple does not make this information public. Google Play Store, however, was able to provide us with an estimated number of downloads/installs the apps had on their platforms.
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Soundation, SnapJam, AudioMack Competitive Landscape

Soundation, SnapJam and AudioMack are three online music making, streaming and distribution companies. Each of them offers a range of different services to the consumer.


  • Soundation is an online music studio and sound library.
  • Based in Stockholm, Sweden, it also allows users to listen to other subscribers' work and collaborate with them.
  • Subscribers can also develop their own musical and audio projects.
  • There is a huge database of resources available to assist the subscriber in their artistic endeavors depending on the service subscribed to.
  • Soundation offers a basic account for free. Intro and premium services are also offered.
  • The intro service costs $1.99 per month. It offers unlimited projects, over 700 loops and effects, virtual instruments, the ability to export in high quality (wav), import of audio (up to 100MB), automation, the export of projects, and an external MIDI controller.
  • The premium service costs $6.99 per month. It includes all the features of the intro service.
  • The premium service also includes 20 sound sets, parametric EQ, and access to a professional feedback group. The import of audio is increased to 5GB, and the subscriber is given access to more than 12,000 loops and effects.
  • In May 2018, Soundation had 75,000 active users per month.
  • Soundation received $500,000 in funding in 2018 to develop the platform.
  • Soundation had sales of $310,000 in the fiscal year ended in December 2018. There is no record publicly available of its total revenue for the year.


  • SnapJam is a music social network that provides users with the ability to make music online.
  • It is a web-based application that offers the user everything they need to "make a hit song".
  • Music is organized into libraries according to genre and type.
  • It is cloud-based and allows the user to make music at any time.
  • There is the opportunity to collaborate with friends or other artists.
  • It is user-friendly music software.
  • The SnapJam app is free to download from the app store.
  • SnapJam is free to join and offers unlimited use. Users are required to purchase space to store their creations.
  • The pricing is as follows — 5G for $10, 10GB for $20, 20GB for $40, 50GB for $100, and 100GB for $200.
  • The app contains ads which can be removed for a monthly payment of $75 or a lifetime payment of $379.
  • SnapJam boasts millions of worldwide users. Other websites and blogs also confirmed SnapJam had millions of users. No more specific information was available.
  • SnapJam was developed by Blue Sky Ventures 6173 Inc.
  • There is no publicly held information on the revenue or sales of this company.


  • AudioMack is a music sharing platform for writers and performers. It allows users to share and stream music.
  • Artists can upload their music for the fans to listen to.
  • It enables the distribution of music and audio content globally.
  • Subscribers can enjoy unlimited listening upon signing up.
  • Music is organized into libraries based on genre and type. Users are able to create playlists of their favorite music.
  • The basic service is free. There are however ads when using the app and users can sign up for a premium service for $4.99 per month to remove the ads.
  • AudioMack has 1.5 million active daily users.
  • AudioMack had sales of $570,000 for the fiscal year ended in December 2012. There is no record publicly available of its total revenue for the year.


We searched for information required regarding each of the companies on their websites. We also searched industry publications and articles to provide an impartial overview of the services offered. The pricing information was readily available on each of the companies' websites. Details of the pricing around apps were available on both iTunes and Google Play. We also searched each company's website and industry data to determine the number of users and their revenue streams. This information was not available publicly.

A search of various company databases, provided records of funding and total sales for two of the companies; however, there was no indication of the total revenue for any of the companies, in the information available publicly. The information is available if the user is prepared to pay for it.

We then searched industry publications and press releases for information around the total revenue streams and total users. Again, total sales were mentioned with respect of two of the companies, but we were unable to ascertain total revenue streams. We were able to identify some funding received by Soundation as a result of this search.

We checked to see if any of the companies were subsidiaries of a larger company or if they traded under a different name. We hoped if this was the case, we would be able to identify total revenue streams and the number of users. Although SnapJam trades under Blue Sky Ventures 6173 Inc, there was no publicly available information in respect of the revenue streams or the total subscribers beyond the very general figure of millions of users.

With respect to SnapJam, we attempted to ascertain the number of users purchasing each type of storage and the total number of users. We hoped by ascertaining these figures we could multiply the two and get an estimate of the total revenue. Unfortunately, this information was not available publicly.

Given this, we have identified the total sales and any funding sources we were able to confirm. Soundation and AudioMack had this information available freely. With respect to SnapJam, despite extensive searches using multiple methods, we were unable to identify either sales or revenue figures. SnapJam's users were unable to be narrowed down beyond "millions of subscribers" despite the aforementioned extensive searches.
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US Independent Songwriters and Musicians

While there is no publicly available information to provide the number of independent songwriters and musicians in the United States, available data and insights are presented below to share some noteworthy information about the music industry and its artists.


  • According to Statista, as of May 2018, "1,290 full-time independent musicians were working in the United States."
  • In 2014, "32 million Americans [considered] themselves artists and about 10 million of them [got] some kind of compensation for their creations and performances."
  • There are 1.17 million songwriters in the United States.
  • Many performers and recording artists belong to one or both of the key music unions such as AFM or AFTRA. Then there are the professional organizations like the Recording Academy, role-based groups like Songwriters Guild of America or the American Composers Forum, and genre-related groups like the Americana Music Association, Folk Alliance, or the Gospel Music Association.
  • The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has over 435,000 composers, songwriters, and music publishers."
  • A great number of composers and songwriters belong to one of three performance rights organizations such as ASCAP, Broadcast Music, Inc (BMI) or SESAC (originally the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers).
  • BMI has more than 500,000 composers, songwriters, and music publishers."

  • The Pew Research Center survey on 2,755 musicians and songwriters had interesting data but this had no impact on finding the total number of independent songwriters and musicians in the United States.
  • The ASCAP gave impact data on various sectors of the music industry, but the data given did not assist in finding or triangulating a proxy answer for the total number of independent songwriters and musicians in the United States.
  • The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) gave data that 85% of all legitimate recorded music produced and sold in the United States is created, manufactured or distributed by RIAA members, but this data had no bearing with the total number of independent songwriters and musicians in the United States.
  • Music HQ gave data about monetary recordings of music and artists but no direct information or a way to triangulate an answer to the total number of independent songwriters and musicians in the United States.
  • SongWriter has a music publishing directory for some countries including the United States, but this list could not assist in finding the total number of independent songwriters and musicians in the country.

Research Strategy

After an exhaustive and intensive search, we had to conclude that there is no data available in the public domain that can give us the total number of independent songwriters and musicians in the United States. We began our search by going through US government data using sites like the US Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics in an attempt to find data on the total number of independent songwriters and musicians in the United States. After performing a scan through each of the databases, we unearthed the Census Bureau's data on NAICS codes but it could not be used to triangulate an answer. The Bureau of Labor statistics only gave employment statistics for performing arts companies and the sound recording industry but these data were too broad and not helpful. Next, we attempted to use statistical databases to find the answer but most of these required payments, and were, therefore, not in the public domain. We went further to look at other organizations' publications and research centers such as RIAA, Music HQ, SongWriter Universe, ASCAP, and the Pew Research Center but to no avail. We also employed techniques like mage searching, broadening our research, expanding the search beyond our standard 2-year publication date to dig a little deeper into historical statistics. However, this did not deliver the needed results. We did, however, find a source noting it's difficult to find data for the total number of independent songwriters and musicians.
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Online/DIY Music Creation Trends

The current trends in the online/DIY music creation market are the use of streaming services, visual branding, blockchain-based apps, VR instruments, and artificial intelligence.

Using Streaming Services

  • The US market appears to rely entirely on streaming as the medium of music consumption. BuzzAngle's report states that it accounts for as much as 85% of all recording revenues, whereas the global average is around 38%.
  • America's Recording Industry Association says the industry grew to $7.7 billion by 11.4% in 2016. Growth in the music industry is due to enhanced digital music usage, especially streaming online.
  • It turns out that streaming makes more money than physical CDs, digital downloads, and licensing deals combined.
  • Streaming services have made so far $3.4 billion in 2018, a total of 75% of the record industry's overall revenue.
  • The new customer adoption rate for streaming is presently around 1 million new subscribers per month for streaming services, which is small relative to the number of individuals actually listening to music, but the rate of growth is still greater than any other category of the recorded music business.
  • Spotify now boasts twice as many users as the next streaming platform, Apple Music, and this year's revenue is projected to top $5 billion, while competitors like SoundCloud, who have not found a way to monetize appropriately, are starting to fade away.
  • For streaming, younger audiences are leaving the radio. Just 39% of 16-19-year-olds listen to music on the radio, while 56% use YouTube for music instead.
  • As of March 2019, US-based performers registered over 70% of the songs on Spotify's Global Top-50 playlist.
  • Spotify is still king when it comes to streaming with 83 million paid subscribers, but at the end of 2018, Apple Music is gained strength by 57 million.

Visual Branding

  • This is one of the most important variables that help an independent artist grow, and so, in these environments, individual artists produce unique content.
  • Around 80% of live income comes straight from ticket sales, while the other 20% comes from brand sponsorships and goods which in turn boost the morale of music producers for producing more content.
  • The visual brand is used by DIY artists to portray themselves visually, which gives each artist a chance to stand out by creating their own music for the market consumption since everything contributes to this visual brand from the font you use to the colors you use in your album art.
  • Since genre dictates part of this visual brand in that a pop act uses visuals that are distinctly different from a metal act, this avails the opportunity for a variety of artists from various genres to create a variety of music that represents their respective genre.
  • Since branding affects streams and sales, stiff competition is created among artists which creates room for creativity that causes the creation of more music content from artists.
  • According to Brian Hickey for eMagine, "album covers became renowned for being not only a marketing tool but an expression of artistic intent."


  • Blockchain-based apps are beginning to take shape and approach the industry's inefficiencies from every angle, from distribution channels to fundraising platforms and tools for rights management.
  • According to Breaker's article on Medium, "led by projects like SingularDTV and its decentralized entertainment economy, blockchain approaches to music remove intermediaries in the music industry, allowing creators and fans to connect directly in the fundraising, production, and distribution of creative works."
  • Music decentralization has several advantages for customers and artists alike. It will allow performers to directly sell their music to their fans, eliminating the need to use intermediaries such as records and centralized platforms.
  • Using decentralized systems will restore the original creators to the music industry. The creators will connect, market, and directly sell their music to their base of fans.

Use of VR Instruments

  • AeroDrums allows drummers to play without a kit, sounding fairly fantastic in fact.
  • More lately, initiatives such as AeroDrums have also incorporated a VR component that propels a complete kit before players in a virtual world.
  • According to Breaker's Medium article, "Enhancia has released a ring players wear on their finger that allows them to play music with gestures with their fingers, and the world of VR music apps is growing every day."
  • VR live streams have also started to pop up, but the technology has not yet matured enough to offer a real immersive experience worth more than a few minutes.
  • For example, LyraVR, along with various controllers, places you in a virtual environment with a range of samples, sounds, and instruments. These instruments enable you to generate and record hits, notes, and chords that appear as colorful gem-like objects that hang in the air around you and that you can move in space to alter their characteristics.
  • Loki Davison is the director of Chroma Coda, states that "VR gives you other ways to interact with synthesis or effects. This translates into giving the musician new options."

AI Technology

  • Plenty of AI-based apps claim that their platforms can write music that the human hand cannot distinguish from it.
  • For instance, Amper Music produces music for marketing efforts produced by AI that has been trained to react to the user's mood, duration, and genre preferences, and spit back music that is affordably licensed in seconds like a music vending machine.
  • Startup AI Music has developed an app that works with users, reacting to input and providing melodies or structure assistance.
  • According to several estimates, in the next decade between 20% and 30% of the top 40 singles will be written in whole or in part with machine-learning software.
  • AI's recent growth is fueling its use in popular music already.
  • According to the Abbey Road Institute, "Companies like Omega, founded by the legendary performer and a true AI evangelist,, are becoming significant players in this field. But also in music production, AI is developing fast."
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Digital Content Creation Tools Market Size

It is estimated that the current US market size for the Digital Content Creation Tools industry is at least $7.528 billion.


  • The Digital Content Creation market is segmented into tools, content transformation, content publisher, and content authoring.
  • The global market size for the Digital Content Creation industry is estimated to grow to $43,237.7 million by 2026 with a CAGR of 16.8%.
  • The wide usage of social media such as Twitter and LinkedIn has increased the demand for digital content. Furthermore, with the advent of virtual reality and artificial intelligence, there has been a sudden increase in the demand for Digital Content Creation tools.
  • In 2018, the North American market size for the Digital Content Creation tools industry was $4.335 billion.
  • The market is expected to grow in the Middle East, South America, and Africa.
  • Additional reports on Digital Content Creation valued the global 2017 market at $12.25 billion in 2017 and estimated that by 2026 it would reach $43.23 billion with a CAGR of about 17.07% during the projected period.
  • North America is estimated to hold a major share of the Digital Content Creation market due to its strong penetration of tools and services within the Digital Content Creation market.
  • According to Market Watch, "the market in North America is expected to dominate in the global market. This can be primarily attributed to increasing adoption of advanced technologies and increasing penetration of Digital Content Creation tools and services in various sectors in countries in the region."
  • Top trends driving the market include a need for digitization, Low entry barriers for content, Increase in smartphones, Increased internet penetration, Online TV digitization process.
  • It is reported that many vendors are investing in digital content creation tools since the market is expanding rapidly.
  • Key players include Acrolinx GmbH, Adobe Systems Incorporated, Aptara Inc., Apple, Inc., Corel Corporation, Integra Software Services Pvt. Ltd., MarketMuse, Inc., Microsoft Corporation, Quark Software, Inc. and Trivantis.
  • Annual revenues for companies that offer total content creation (i.e., products and services within every segment of the Digital Content Creation market) are Adobe Systems Incorporated with $7.2 billion, S Corel Corporation with $300 million, Integra Software Services Pvt. Ltd with $13 million, and Quark Software with $15 million.


We started our research by looking at the United States Census Bureau to find precompiled data regarding the Digital Content Creation Tools market size. However, after thoroughly navigating through there sites we were unable to find any relevant information. We also looked at news articles such as PRnews, which was under a paywall. Although we were able to find information regarding key players in the industry and insight into the segmentation of the market.

We then decided to expand our scope and look at the global market size of the Digital Content Creation Tools industry. We looked at industrial reports to find information regarding the market size of the digital content creation tools industry. We came across reports from Technavio, TransparencyMarket Research, Maximise Market Research, and MarketWatch report. The report from MarketWatch was under a paywall. Therefore, while we could access information regarding the Digital Content Creation industry and the segmentation of industry tools and services, we could not access a clear breakdown of what each segment contributed to the industry. Furthermore, the Technavio report gave us information regarding the market size of the entire industry without a clear breakdown of what tools contributed to the industry, while the TransparencyMarket Research provided information regarding the market size of the industry and some reasons why the market is growing rapidly.

We then decided to triangulate data on the Digital Content Creation Tools market. Because we already found information on the global industry market size, we wanted to find the percentage that each tool contributes to the global industry. This was to help us calculate the global market size of the digital content creation tools industry. We decided to look at more market reports such as MarketWatch and Maximise Market to find a percentage of what each tools' segment contributes. We would then leverage journals such as Digital Journal where we found information regarding key players in the industry and the global market size of the digital content creation market. However, we were unable to find information that offered insight into individual tools' segmentation and thus could not provide an accurate estimate on the US market.

Lastly, we decided to look at the key players in the industry with the aim of finding what each player offers and try to estimate the US Digital Content Creation Tools industry. We looked through the official websites, press releases, and public/available financial statements of the following companies and what they offered in relation to content creation tools: Acrolinx GmbH, Adobe Systems Incorporated, Aptara Inc., Apple, Inc., Corel Corporation, Integra Software Services Pvt. Ltd., MarketMuse, Inc., Microsoft Corporation, Quark Software, Inc., and Trivantis.

After going through each company, we found that companies that focused on tools and had a clear breakdown of revenue if they offered all types of content creation. For example, Adobe Systems Incorporated has an annual revenue of $7.2 billion, while Corel Corporation has an annual revenue of $300 million. Meanwhile, Integra Software Services Pvt. Ltd and Quark Software each have annual revenues of $13 million and $15 million, respectively. Therefore, we approximate that a portion of the US market size for Digital Content Creation Tools is $7.528 billion ($7.2 billion + $300 million + $13 million +$15 million = $7.528 billion). However, we were not able to determine additional insight to calculate the total US market size for digital content creation tools.

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From Part 01
  • ""Soundtrap's rapidly growing business is highly aligned with Spotify's vision of democratizing the music ecosystem. Starting today, Soundtrap joins a team at Spotify that is dedicated to helping millions of artists connect with millions of fans, and helping fans discover their favorite new artists," Spotify said in a statement."
From Part 04
  • "The Recording Industry Association of America released a report today that details how the music industry has grown in 2018, and while the data isn’t surprising — the world still isn’t buying records — the specific numbers are still fascinating. Turns out, streaming makes more money than physical CDs, digital downloads, and licensing deals combined."
  • "According to Citigroup, this growth is primarily driven by the surge of performance royalties, connected to the rise of streaming."
  • "And while Google and Amazon brought AI into our homes, the creative industry – and more specifically the music industry – has been experimenting with AI for some time, reaching a fascinating point."
From Part 05
  • " The market for digital content creation is estimated to grow to US$ 43,237.7 Mn by 2026, recording a CAGR of 16.8%. The extensive use of social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and others has created an enormous demand for digital content. Furthermore, with the advent of virtual reality and artificial intelligence, there is a sudden increase in demand for digital content creation tools"
  • "The digital content creation market is segmented on the basis of component, deployment type, enterprise size, content format, and end-use industry. Based on the component, the market is segmented into tools and services"
  • "Global Digital Content Creation Market, by Tool • Content transformation • Content publishing • Content authoring"
  • "Acrolinx GmbH, Adobe Systems Incorporated, Aptara Inc., Corel Corporation, Integra Software Services Pvt Ltd., MarketMuse, Inc., Microsoft Corporation, Quark Software, Apple, Avid Tool, Magic GmbH, Arcsoft, and Trivanties."
  • "Global Digital Content Creation Market was valued US$ 12.25 Bn in 2017 and is estimated to reach US$ US$ 43.23 Bn by 2026 at a CAGR of about 17.07% during a forecast period."
  • "The market in North America is expected to dominate in the global market. This can be primarily attributed to increasing adoption of advanced technologies and increasing penetration of digital content creation tools and services in various sectors in countries in the region"
  • "The market is expected to top US$549 billion by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 13.73 percent over the forecast period."