Monday, May 21, 2018

The Economics of Post Malone

Patrick Cullen
Mrs. Straub
AP Economics
15 May 2018
The Economics of Post Malone

As you may have noticed the music industry does not have very high barriers to entry. If you produce a hit, you have a chance to make it big, for a little while, and the rest depends on what you put into it. You see a lot of young artists with a variety of different names entering the industry and it becomes kind of grueling to keep up with. However, one name that continues to linger and thrive in this industry is Post Malone. What differentiates him from the rest of the pack is his ability to incorporate his own spin on R&B with melodic choruses and catchy repetitive rhymes. He does it all. It is this one solid attribute that keeps Post Malone towards the top of the music industry oligopoly. 

You may be confused as to why I gave an industry a economic label, but the truth is that at any given time the industry is being lead by 1-3 artists. The current Billboard: Top 100 charts show the top four spots being dominated by Childish Gambino, Drake, along with Post Malone in the #4 spot with is hit single “Psycho” which was released numerous months prior to the release of his album “Beerbongs & Bentleys”. It is due to this single that his album was certified platinum within a week of its release. Though this may sound impossible and shows just how big of a rockstar that Post Malone really is, people often forget about the vehicles we use to listen to these artists music. Along with being certified platinum within a week of being released, Post Malone can also be credited with driving the record-breaking streaming week that occurred following the drop of album. In an article from Billboard magazine, the author states, “The effort, released on April 27 via Republic Records, earned 461,000 equivalent album units in the week ending May 3, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 153,000 were in traditional album sales”(Caulfield). What this shows is that Post Malone isn’t the only one raking in the big bucks from his album being present on so many different platforms. With streaming platforms such as Apple Music and Spotify available, it eliminates the demand for a physical copy of the album. This is why only 153,000 of the album units were traditional album sales out of the nearly 500,000 that occured over the span of that week. This shows that Post Malone isn’t just a high performing firm in the music industry, but he helps drive the industry itself by bringing in excess amounts of traffic to streaming vehicles while also pumping money into our nation’s economy through his beautiful form of entertainment.

As you can see Post Malone has a lot left in the tank and has a very bright future ahead of him. It is through artists such as himself that make the entertainment industry such a driving force for our economy. He is an inspiration to young people and creates an incentive to consume for people who are not usually high contributors to our economy. Post Malone is more than a public figure, he is a key piece in the music industry which is a large block in the foundations of our economy.

Works Cited

Caulfield, Keith. “Post Malone's 'Beerbongs & Bentleys' Breaks Streaming Record, Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart.” Billboard, Billboard, 6 May 2018, www.billboard.com/articles/columns/chart-beat/8454698/post-malone-beerbongs-and-bentleys-no-1-billboard-200.

23 comments:

  1. Pat, you did a wonderful job encapsulating the economics of Post Malone. The fact that his streaming is so high but hard copy sales are so low shows that the industry has changed so much over the years is pretty impressive but I wonder what the difference in income is for artist. The ease of access makes it so more people get it but the lower price point I'd imagine means lower returns. just a thought.

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  2. Dearest Patrick,

    I too enjoy Post Malone's sophomore LP "Beerbongs & Bentleys". It has glossy production, yet gritty overtones and is riddled with party bangers. It is a fun listen. However, how long until the demand for Post Malone goes down? As supply increases, price decreases as well as demand, and it is less sought after. In addition to that, I am wondering how to interpret the streaming vs physical sales. We do live in a streaming age, but Kendrick Lamar went platinum in streaming and physical sales. This is something I find very interesting.

    Sincerely,



    Carlos.

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  3. Personally, Post Malone is one of my favorite artists. I don't need to pay to listen to his music because I have spotify premium, but if I had to pay for one musical artist, it would be for Post. Also, the reason his music is so popular is because it targets a younger teen audience with "chill music." Your conclusion sentence is very strong, he is not only a public figure for the community, he is helping out the musical economy.

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  4. I agree and can see how a few artists are dominating the competition like Post Malone, but with all of the streaming and free ways to listen to music, I wonder how much he is actually making. There is no way it is cheaper to buy an actual album rather than just downloading it off Spotify, but how much of the money do you think artists actually get from these platforms? I don’t know anybody who buys actual CD's for music anymore, everything is off of their phone. It would be interesting to see if artists are actually making as much money as they should be.

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  5. You bring up interesting points about the music industry. Post Malone has been climbing in popularity and will soon dominate the music industry. With Americans having extra spending money, they can afford to buy luxuries like his album and enjoy the music he is producing. I wonder when the time will come when demand for his music lessens. As demand decreases, his price will decrease as there are not a lot of people willing to pay higher prices. The amount of physical albums bought is actually higher than I expected it to be. With apps like Apple Music and Spotify, I wonder the purpose of buying these items.

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  6. As you say, the music world is usually dominated by a few key individuals at any point in time. Because of this, any music that they release most likely will become popular for a few months to even a year and then someone new will take over the market. Music attributes to the economy so much because there is a genre of music for everyone and people are willing to pay monthly fees in order to get the best music experience for themselves.

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  7. I think that with any new song or album that is released by a big name artist, such as Post Malone there is the initial craze and obsession over the music. However it is likely that over time the demand for his new album is going to decrease and the sales income will then go down as well. This is largely because of the numerous ways it is possible to stream songs and albums for free, therefore less money will be brought in at some point and more people will just be streaming at no cost.

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  9. Over the past couple years, Post Malone has become increasingly popular. Since his new album has been released, he has had many of his songs in the top charts. I was actually surprised by the amount of his physical albums that have been sold because online streaming has become so popular. Although services like Apple Music and Spotify pay artists to stream their songs, it is a much smaller amount than what artists are paid for every album sold, so I wonder if the rise in streaming popularity is helping or hurting artists. Either way, the demand for Post Malone's music is currently very high and I don't expect that to change any time soon.

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  10. This is a very interesting article, Post Malone is one of the biggest artists in 2018 and it is no secret that he is bringing in tons of money. I think it's cool how one musical artist can create so many jobs and create such a fast flow of money when they announce a tour. For Example, when Posty announces a tour that means that the venue will be booked which will hire security guards, staff, bartenders, etc. and people will pay money for these tickets which put there money into the economy.

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  11. I understand what you mean by the economics of Post Malone. Compared to other young artists who come out of nowhere and only have one hit single, Malone figured out a way to keep his audience engaged. Millions of people pay good money to either see him in concert or use premium online streaming to listen to his excellent music. His sales alone are good for the economy because consumers will demand for his products no matter what. In terms of music, Post Malone’s products are inelastic.

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  12. Post Malone is my favorite and I love his new album. No wonder he's so successful, because he's amazing.

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  13. I would argue that, rather than musicians themselves having an oligopoly in the music industry, it is the music labels that form the oligopoly. I read in a recent article that the majority of revenue from music streaming sites or tours actually go to the music label rather than the artist, so I believe Republic Records would be earning much more than Post Malone himself. As mentioned in a comment above, some artists may lose popularity over time; however, music labels can continue to sign on new and popular artists, which would allow them to have a stronger influence in the oligopoly market.

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  14. Post Malone is one of the biggest artist currently as his older hits are still very present in the top 100 as of today. He has the ability to make his songs start at the top and somehow in some way stay there for a long period of time, this is interesting because we usually were used to seeing this with artists that have worked their way up. Post Malone became very popular very quickly and has a different twist on pop music, rap, and country even which is why he is making so much money that then is being pumped into our economy. People are interested in him for many reasons other than just his music but his different personality and twist on music because we hear so much repetitive music in day to day life. I believe and the statistics show that he is one of the biggest stars and is still rising which is good for both him and the economy.

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  15. This article is very relevant because I would agree that Post Malone is one of the top artists right now. I am a user of Spotify and the amount of listens he gets on his music is pretty crazy. I never really thought about where the money he makes go towards, but he definitely is leading the music industry as of right now.

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  16. I really like post Malone's music so this was fun to read. I never really thought about the economical side of things when it comes to music, so it was interesting reading about it. Also I agree with ally zilmer.

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  17. I would like to say that I was a day one fan of Post Malone but of course, since he became so popular, everyone seems to be saying it. I remember when I first heard songs like White Iverson and Go Flex that sounded so raw and well done but in a way underground at the same time. Now that he dropped Beerbongs and Bentleys he broke the record for the most songs in the top 20 ever, over J Cole and The Beatles, while having his entire 18 song album being featured in the top 100. Even after all that it still seems to have a very similar raw and pure feeling at the same time and that's why he still is and will continue to be as successful as he is.

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  18. This was a very fun topic to read about for an econ class. I love how you covered the sales of his album and how there are vastly more online purchases than physical copies of his albums. This shows how much the music industry has changed but as long as Post Malone continues to release quality music he'll keep raking in the cash no matter how much the industry changes.

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  19. I think it is interesting to see how Post Malone compares to other artists with his high rate of album sales and platforming however I do not think it is fair to say he alone is driving the music industry. We cant relate coincidence to fact and because music sales are up that doesn't mean Post is the reason a lot of what can cause spikes in a market is demand which could mean maybe more people are listening to music or it is growing more accessible via the internet and different streaming platforms overall it was an interesting topic.

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  20. Great article Pat! I thought it was very interesting to learn more about the economics of one of the most popular and upcoming artists of 2018. I loved how you included both things about his hard copy sales and his online streaming popularity. I can't believe the amount of hard copy sales Post Malone made on his newer albums because of how easy it is to access his music online. I wonder if the advances in streaming technology hurts or helps artist because of how much less money artists make from people streaming their music. But currently, the demand for Post Malone's music is extraordinarily high I don't expect him to be out of the business any time soon.

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  21. I really like the topic you chose Pat! This is a very interesting part of our society today. Artists used to profit of there music from the purchase of an album or even the purchase of a song on itunes but now a days with spotify being so popular, it makes me wonder how much profit artists are losing. Not to mention all the illegal music downloading that goes on. Great post.

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  22. I disagree with the notion that there are "no barriers to entry" in the music industry. There are many barriers, and unless you catch lightning in a bottle, the chances of becoming big are small unless you are "in" with the record labels. While yes, you are free to make music for a profit, anybody can do that with any trade. There is plenty of wonderful pop music that goes virtually unnoticed because the artists were not connected with peole in the music industry that could promote them.

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  23. This was very interesting to read because I, like many others, are a huge fan of Post Malone. I personally have listened to his new album many times and know that a lot of my friends listen to him as well. However when you listen to music, you really don't think about the economic benefits of the song or album. I think you did a tremendous job in capturing the hidden economic benefits of Post Malone.

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