New Report Paints Bleak Image of Range within the Music Business

But the group’s new report entitled “Inclusion in the Music Business: Gender & Race / Ethnicity Across Executives, Artists & Talent Teams”, which is sponsored by the Universal Music Group, shows that women and people of color are in the power structure of the Branch itself.

The differences between the various occupational levels and industries are remarkable. Black executives performed best at record companies, which made up 14.4 percent of all positions and 21.2 percent of artist and repertoire or A&R roles, which typically work most closely with artists. Blacks hold only 4 percent of leadership positions in radio and 3.3 percent in live music.

According to US census data, 13.4 percent of Americans identify as black.

With 39.1 percent of the positions, women have established their highest management positions in the live music business. But the study found that most of these women were white. Even at record companies, where black executives were most prominent, black women held only 5.3 percent of managerial positions.

The USC report is one of several ongoing efforts to examine the music industry and assess its progress towards achieving its stated goals of diversity and inclusion. This week, the Black Music Action Coalition, a group of artist managers, lawyers and other insiders, is expected to release a “report card” on how well the industry has met its own commitments to change.

Much of the data used in the USC report came from publicly available sources such as company websites, according to the researchers. The report suggests that a lack of participation by music companies in the study was one reason.

“Companies were given the opportunity to participate and validate information, especially from executives,” the report said. “About a dozen companies have done that. The vast majority didn’t. “