Artist Co-Writes Feed Songwriter Slump

Everyone knows the music business is going through a downturn, but an article in the Tennessean shows just how hard it is hitting songwriters.

NSAI Executive Director Bart Herbison tells the newspaper that the number of Nashville songwriters making a living from their craft has dropped a drastic 75% in the last five years. Essentially, the songwriting middle class is now non-existent.

A major factor contributing to this songwriter slump is the popularity of artist co-writes. The lack of singers cutting outside songs is partially fueled by the decline in music sales and the resulting decline in mechanical income for the artist. Critics suggest this trend has had a negative effect on the quality of songs coming out of Nashville.

Among those who talked to the paper about the topic are songwriter Liz Rose, BMI Nashville chief Jody Williams and UMPG Sr. VP Creative Kent Earls. More here.

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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