Report: Music Industry Execs ‘Depressed’ About Current State of Breaking New Pop Artists

It should go without saying that there’s more than enough cynicism in the music industry to allow for one to get cynical about the cynicism itself, thus brushing it off entirely. And while some of this can certainly be chalked up to ageism and related Old Man Yells at Cloud behavior, others have raised some more nuanced concerns.

These issues, specifically as they relate to how the process of breaking new pop artists has changed in recent years, is detailed in a new Billboard piece from Elias Leight. In it, an anonymous manager is quoted as saying that those in the industry are “depressed” about the present-day realities of breaking someone new.

“Each person I talk to in the industry is more depressed [about this] than the person I talked to before them,” the anonymous exec said, joining similarly dire assessments from others.

One exec, for example, went so far as to estimate that “nobody knows how to break music right now,” adding that everyone is “lost.”

While industry-shifting developments like TikTok virality have indeed resulted in new stars, it’s argued that these examples don’t often equate to the type of full-scale pop stardom often used as a reference point.

The broader discussion surrounding these issues, of course, has been building for some time now. The oft-argued point of oversaturation, notably, is frequently at the center of such talk. Even artists themselves have weighed in on this, including Coi Leray.

“The music industry is over saturated,” the Coi and Trendsetter artist said in a swiftly debated tweet in May. “Every song is a hit. Everybody is a star.”