Bloomberg News released a short article recently utilizing statistics from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) entitled "Music Industry Sees Fastest Growth In More Than 20 Years". According to the RIAA the music industry raked in $8.7 billion last year. That is a 17% increase, and "the second straight gain in domestic revenue", according to the article.
While this does not necessarily represent heavy metal labels as much as popular music labels, it still shows a huge disconnect between what labels bring in compared to what bands get. I can guarantee you there aren't many metal bands out there (save a hand full) that are bringing in massive mounds of cash. We've waxed philosophic several times in the past about how little bands make off of streaming, so I'll spare you the bitch-fest again.
Understandably, labels are a business, and they must make money to justify their own existence. Often-times they put up massive amounts of money and take great risk, in hopes of at the very least breaking even. But, the disparity between the amount of profits that are being reaped by the companies and that of the bands is quite interesting. All the while you hear about how much they are "suffering" because of streaming services and piracy. Is it really the labels that are suffering? The stats don't show it.