In terms of consumption and revenue generation, the U.S. music market is the largest in the world. The global recorded music revenue reached 28.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2021, however, the music industry is yet another area in which men dominate, not only in the creator space but also behind the scenes. Though there are many successful female artists and record executives, women in music such as Dani Thompson, are still working towards gender equality to level out the playing field.
According to a March 2022 report from the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, the ratio of male to female artists is 3.6:1. This confirms that women are missing in popular music. In addition, only 12.7% of songwriters between 2012 and 2021 were female and 2.8% are producers. As for women music executives, research by Sonsuite shows only 37% of companies in the music industry are led by a girl boss, with female directors at record labels and independent companies making up only 14%. An early 2019 Rolling Stone article also stated that only one out of 13 major labels was run by a female leader.
The first step in closing the gender gap in the industry is to equip the next generation of female artists and leaders with the tools they need to succeed.
Though impactful strides have been made by organizations such as Women in Music, Shesaid. so and SoundGirls, it is evident that more support is needed on an artist development and mentorship level to guide female creators and aspiring record executives as they navigate the male-dominated music industry. With access to digital distribution platforms that support independent artists, social media marketing, and artist development partners that empower female artists and creators outside of the major label system, it is now more possible than ever to close the gender gap in the music industry. Knowledge is power and what our female artists and aspiring leaders are missing is access to digital-age music education resources, and mentors willing to share their knowledge. It is the desire to rise up by helping others succeed, and women executives taking time to share their knowledge with other aspiring female creators that will move us closer to gender equality.
Girl Boss Dani Thompson is making an impact in this space.
Dani Thompson, known professionally as Dani N Thompson, is an entrepreneur/ artistpreneur who has been featured by numerous publications such as NY Weekly, The American Reporter, Indie Artist Go, Total Girl Boss, and others. She has spent her professional career advocating for gender equality in the music industry through hands-on support and dedicating her time and work to artist development in an effort to empower female creators. She has helped launch the careers of dozens of independent female artists such as Macy Kate, Tayler Jade, Emilia Vaughn, Lauren Black, Gianna Branca, ĒISA, Savannah Young, Beaux King, Megan Winsor, and Em Davila to name a few, and has produced live corporate shows for artists such as Flo Rida and Macy Kate, Iggy Azalea, Zhavia Ward, Brian King Joseph, and Evelyn Cormier. In addition to live show production, she is known for directing music videos, most recently "Sunflower" byEmilia Vaughn which has been aired on MTV, Loop TV, AXS TV's Music High 5, and Nickelodeon Music, and "French Film."
With an artist roster that is 10:2 with girls taking the majority of seats, Thompson has spent the past decade building an honest management and development company, DNT Entertainment, that provides a safe space for music creators, especially female artists, where they can learn, grow, build their music catalogs, develop their personality brands, and release the music they want without compromising ownership or creative control over the projects. It is girl bosses like Dani Thompson and companies such as DNT that are going to have a significant impact on closing the gender gap and leveling the playing field in the music industry. The key is artist development and mentorship. The work that is done on the ground level to discover and develop the next generation of female music creators is crucial to any advancement in gender equality in the music space.
Women in leadership roles have the power to create change.
It is with music industry knowledge and experience from today's female leaders and former center stage artists, such as Thompson, that can equip the next generation of women creators to be successful as they pursue creative careers in the music industry.
Before the formation of DNT Entertainment, Thompson started her career as the lead singer for a non-profit promotional band for Fenders' Kids Rock Free ® music school in Corona, California, that was backed by industry greats such as Steve Miller and Paul Rodgers. During her time with KRF, Dani helped raise money for educational music programs to support young talent. It was this experience that first sparked an interest in pursuing a career in the business side of the industry. After she departed from the program in 2005, Dani went on to pursue a degree in communications with an emphasis in Broadcast Journalism from California State University Fullerton before launching DNT Entertainment in 2014. She was featured in 2020 by the Department of Communications at CSUF, and the interview gives a deeper look into how her education played a role in her career as an entrepreneur in the music industry. Thompson is one of the many amazing women in music that has the power to create change and move the industry closer to gender equality. If other women in music use their knowledge and power to mentor and guide aspiring female creators, the industry will be in a much better place.
Change starts with a vision.
Dani has a vision for the company she leads: growth and recognition as an honest and reputable management and artist development leader in the music industry that empowers the next generation of music creators. Her passion for music and her desire to document her knowledge for aspiring artists and music creators to learn from will lead us in the direction of gender equality. It is other women in music that can make a difference by shifting energy towards mentoring female talent, and with this, we will be able to level the playing field.