Catalog music eating into frontline music’s market share has become one of the music industry’s bigger talking points these past few years.
The industry has historically defined ‘frontline’ as any release younger than 18 months old, while ‘catalog’ has counted as any music older than 18 months.
But is ‘old’ music really getting that much more popular? Or does the definition of catalog need an adjustment in today’s streaming-led music industry – where audiences appear to be playing (and replaying) hit songs for far longer than they might once have done?
Kevin Gore is the President of Global Catalog at Warner Music Group, whose repertoire happens to hold two tracks, Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush, and Dreams by Fleetwood Mac, that have particularly grabbed headlines as ‘old’ tracks with ‘new’ hit status in recent times.
Gore doubts that the traditional 18-month-old catalog definition is doing the modern music business many favors.