Music Norway er norsk musikkbransjes eksportorganisasjon.



Population: 317,098,309

GDP per capita: $49,965

As the US continues to be the top consumer and producer of music worldwide, technological advances in recent years have increased the opportunities for international artists and industry professionals to take export ready entertainment to American audiences.

Between 2012 and 2013, digital track sales fell 5.7% to 1.26 billion units and digital album sales fell .1% to 117.6 million units. This is an indicator that consumers in the US are beginning to shift from owning digital files and according to IFPI, nearly 50% of Americans are using paid and unpaid streaming servics.

Since the introduction of Spotify in 2011 and the rise of other subscription and advertiser supported services like Pandora, iTunes Radio, Beats Music, Google Play, RDIO, LastFM, Slacker, and more, international artists are finding new audiences in the US without having to leave their homes. In 2012, the number of paid subscribers grew 86% to 3.4 million which is more than double the number of subscribers in 2010 (1.5 million). Reveunes from streaming services increased 59% or $571 million in 2012 from the previous year

According to the 2012 RIAA Report music sales totaled $7.1 Billion with $4 Billion in digital compromising 59% of the total sales.

Related articles from Musicnorway.no:

Slik får du visum til USA
USA-satsing krever godt forarbeid

NB! Dette veikartet kun en introduksjon til det amerikanske markedet. Det er ikke ment som en fasit på hvordan man slår igjennom. Veikartet gir heller ingen totaloversikt over alt som kan være relevant for deg og dine behov. Endringer skjer fort i musikkindustrien, så vi oppfordrer bransjen til å melde inn eventuelle mangler eller feil i veikartet. 


TV broadcasting in the US is dominated by 6 commercial networks with the top 10 shows generally airing on ABC (American Broadcasting Company), CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System) and NBC (National Broadcasting Company). The other three are Fox, The CW, and Univision which is Spanish language programming. The ratings are measured daily.

PBS: Public Broadcasting Service

There are three main types of radio stations in the US that new artists can look to obtain airplay from: commercial, college/community, and online/digital. Commercial radio stations have been consolidating over the years and are most difficult for unknown artists to receive airplay from.

Premiere Radio Networks
Westwood One Radio Networks
KUSC (classical/contemporary)
WETA (classical/contemporary)
WGBH (classical/jazz)
WQXR (classical/contemporary)
KJazz (jazz)
WBGO (jazz)
WWOZ (jazz)

College/community stations including NPR (National Public Radio) are the most open to playing new, unsigned, international types of music, as long as their programs play the artists’ style or format of music.

NPR : National Public Radio
Radio K
WSOU (Metal)

Online/digital radio stations such as SiriusXM Radio stations are similar in difficulty as commercial stations for new artists to receive airplay. However they have a larger number of speciality stations unlike the commercial outlets.

Key radio programmes:
Aaron Axelsen / Soundcheck « Live 105
All Songs Considered : NPR
American Top 40 With Ryan Seacrest
Morning Becomes Eclectic
Rick Dees Weekly Top 40
Virgin Mobile Feed
Jazz After Hours (jazz)

Below are top level music-specific sites that focus on album reviews, festival reports, artist interviews and live reviews:

SpinMedia (Idolator, Stereogum, PureVolume, XLR8R)
Rolling Stone

Several weekly & daily publications encompass album reviews, festival reports and, to some extent, artist interviews. Some papers are nationally read such as the New York Times, while others are regionally or locally based.

Chicago Sun-Times
Los Angeles Times
Metro (daily paper featured in NYC, Boston, Philadelphia)
New York Post
The New York Times
Voice Media Group (Village Voice, LA Weekly and more)
Washington Post

The number of US based print music magazines have been declining in recent years. Today there are still a few genre specific outlets available weekly, monthly & quarterly. These magazines also have a web counterpart that also covers these genres.

Alternative Press (punk/emo)
DownBeat Magazine (jazz)
The FADER (Alt, urban)
Fanfare Magazine (classical/contemporary)
Jazziz (jazz)
Jazz Times (jazz)
Opera News (classical)
Revolver (metal, hardcore)
Rolling Stone (most genres)
Vibe (Urban)
XLR8R (Electronic)


From April to October nearly countless music festivals can be attended throughout the country. Below is a selection of the most popular music festivals.

ACL Music Festival
CMJ Music Marathon
Culture Collide Festival
Electric Zoo
The Governors Ball
Lollapalooza 2014
Outside Lands
Pitchfork Music Festival
Sasquatch! Festival
Treasure Island Music Festival
Ultra Music Festival
Virgin Mobile Freefest
Voodoo Experience

Berks Jazz Fest
Blue Note Jazz Festival
Capital Jazz Fest
Fillmore Jazz Festival 2014
Monterey Jazz Festival
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Newport Jazz Festival
New York City Jazz Festival

Big Ears Festival
Lincoln Center Festival
New York Chamber Music Festival
Ojai Music Festival
Spoleto Festival

Clubs Promoters
The Bowery Presents
C3 Presents
Live Nation

Booking agents
US booking agents booking agents focusing on the domestic market:
The Agency Group
A.M. Only
Bond Music Group
High Road Touring
Inland Empire Touring, Inc.
Flower Booking
Panache Booking
Paradigm Talent Agency
William Morris Agency
The Windish Agency

Many US cities have symphony orchestras of varying sizes and degrees of popularity. More orchestras can be found at League of American Orchestras.

The “Top Five”
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Cleveland Orchestra
New York Philharmonic
The Philadelphia Orchestra

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
The Los Angeles Philharmonic
Portland Symphony Orchestra
San Francisco Symphony

Several opera companies can be found throughout the US in nearly every top city, but the top two in the US are.
Metropolitan Opera
San Francisco Opera

Concert Halls:
Throughout the US, there several world famous concert halls presenting a variety of music including classical, pop, jazz, world, and more.
BAM | Brooklyn Academy of Music
Carnegie Hall
Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Severance Hall
Symphony Center
Symphony Hall
Walt Disney Concert Hall

Cultural Houses:
Ars Nova Workshop
Cleveland Museum of Art
Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC)
ICA | The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston
ISSUE Project Room
The Kitchen: Home
(le) poisson rouge
Non-Event: Boston Experimental and New Music Series
The Stone

Record Industry

According to the RIAA, music sales plateaued from 2010-2012 at $7.1 Billion. In 2011, digital sales finally surpassed physical and in 2012 digital formats were up 14% to $4 billion compromising 59% of the total US market. However, in 2013 digital single sales dropped by 5.7% signaling a shift towards paid and advertiser supported (unpaid) streaming services.

A significant decline in of physical units from 2011to 2012 totaling $2.8 billion which was down 16.5% the previous year at $3.4 billion. Much of this trend can be attributed to brick and mortar music stores closing and “big box” retail like Wal-Mart & Target reducing selection.

In 2013, total album sales dropped another 8.4% to 289.4 million units from the previous year of 316 million. Physical CD sales in particular have declined by 14.5% from 193.4 million units in 2012 t0 165.4 million in 2013.

While consumers have shifted from CDs to mp3s to streaming in the past decade, vinyl records are making a “comeback” and have gained a 2% increase from 2012 to 2013 selling 6 million units.

2013 market shares on the domestic music market according to Billboard:
Universal Music Group 28.5%
Sony 22.3%
Warner Music Group 14.0%
Indies 34.6%

The US independent record label sector is represented by A2IM – the American Association of Independent Music
Key US independent record labels:
ATO Records
Beggars Group
Century Media Records (metal)
Glassnote Records
Merge Records
Nettwerk Music Group
Nuclear Blast (metal)
Polyvinyl Records
Secretly Canadian
Sub Pop Records
Warp Records

Concord Jazz (jazz)
Heads Up International (jazz)
Mack Avenue Records (jazz)
Knitting Factory Records (jazz/contemporary/world)
Rounder Records (roots/folk)
Ultra Music (edm)

US major label sector is represented by the RIAA. These labels have imprints who specialize in specific genres. The majority of the classical/contemporary recordings are released under these imprints.

Universal Music
Blue Note Records (jazz)
Decca (classical/contemporary/jazz)
Sugar Hill Records (folk/bluegrass)
Verve Music Group (classical/contemporary/jazz)

Sony Music
Sony Masterworks (classical/contemporary)

Warner Music Group
Roadrunner Records (metal)

ADA Music
INgrooves Music Group
Redeye Distribution

BMG Chrysalis
CD Baby
INgrooves Music Group
The Orchard

Music Industry Networking Arenas

Indie-week – A2IM
Held in June, A2IM Indie Week 2013, featured a group of over 120 independent music business senior executives from around the globe participated in the 2013 WIN-A2IM Think Tank to teach and learn from one another while discussing several of the most important growing revenue streams in our industry. The Think Tank participants were divided into breakout groups and asked to share experiences, ask questions and select general best practices that they’d be willing to share with their fellow A2IM members. A2IM gathered the notes taken by the Think Tank participants and used them to construct this year’s Independent Label Roadmap.

CMJ Music Marathon
CMJ’s daytime conference is headquartered on New York University’s Greenwich Village campus, at the Helen and Martin Kimmel Center on Washington Square Park. The 2013 conference was held in mid October and included a broad array of panelists, from artists to indie label executives, and brand mavens to new media specialists. These emergent entrepreneurs continue to change the game by working outside the conventional notions of what can, and can’t be done to survive and thrive in today’s music business.

Culture Collide Festival
Culture Collide Creative Summit is an exclusive two-day conference panel series in early October, that will bring together influential speakers from the music, entertainment and lifestyle industries and delegates from around the world to discuss brand partnerships, record sales, touring, digital marketing strategies and much more.

MUSEXPO is an unprecedented and exclusive opportunity to interact with a wide range of influential decisionmakers from the international music, media and technology industries all brought together again in Los Angeles at MUSEXPO in late April. Created by popular demand, the inaugural MUSEXPO enriched the experience created at the A&R Worldwide dinners, creating a climate that attracted executives and artists to travel from over 30 countries across the world to participate — all because they understand the value of discovering and developing fresh new relationships, inspirations and solutions in an ever-changing worldwide community.

New Music Seminar
The New Music Seminar (NMS) is a conference and festival held annually in New York City. The New Music Seminar was originally launched in 1980, and ran through 1994, and was relaunched in 2009. The New Music Seminar features over 150 CEOs, Presidents, Founders, and leaders in the emerging music business along with over 100 artist performances. The mission of the New Music Seminar is to grow a sustainable and better music business that allows the creative cream to rise to the top. The NMS strives to enable more artists to achieve success and encourages new levels of investment in music and artists

South by Southwest (SXSW) Music and Media Conference, the world’s leading music industry event, offers attendees the opportunity to explore the future of the music industry during the day at panels, talks, the Trade Show, Music Gear Expo and other conference activities at the Austin Convention Center. At night, the absolute best mix of musical performances from over 2,200 regional, national and international acts take place at the SXSW Music Festival. Altogether, SXSW presents unmatched networking opportunities, career-building conference programming and over 100 stages of music for showcasing bands and conference attendees. SXSW Music is now in its 28th year.


The US publishing sector is relatively large with lots of opportunities to earn money off of copyrights. ASCAP and BMI each reported earning over $800 million in 2012. Overall, the publishing sector is represented by two main organizations
Music Publishers Association
National Music Publishers’ Association

Songwriting/song camps
The ASCAP «I Create Music» EXPO: This conference is held annually in late April in Los Angeles and attracts world famous international song writers, A&Rs and publishers discussing a variety of topics during panels and networking events.

Berklee College of Music located in Boston, MA, Berklee is one of the top contemporary music schools in the world. They offers various programs including a songwriting workshop at the end of June featuring top professors and guest clinicians.

Publishing companies

BMG Chrysalis
EMI Music Publishing
Universal Music Publishing
Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Warner/Chappell Music

Downtown Music Publishing
Nettwerk One Music
Primary Wave Music
Songs Music Publishing
Spirit Music Group

Performing Rights/Collecting Societies

ASCAP is the world’s leading Performing Rights Society and represents more than 480,000 rights holders.  BMI and SESAC are the two other PRO’s in the US where songwriters can join.  Meanwhile, The Harry Fox Agency issues mechanical rights in the US market.

Artists from abroad help site:

– Foreign artist taxation
Tax returns