When Jay Z declared that there were new rules to this music industry, he wasn’t kidding. King Hova’s deal with Samsung to release his Magna Carta…Holy Grail album made his project platinum in a day, and forced the RIAA to redefine what constituted a sale in an ever-shifting business landscape.
But Jay wasn’t the only one forging ahead with new ways of thinking about the music industry. From Nipsey Hu$$le’s $100 mixtape to Dr. Dre’s Beats announcing a new streaming service to Nas getting into the publishing game, the revenue streams have gotten more diverse, the partnerships have grown bigger and the new-look business models have gotten a much-needed facelift. XXL has recounted the year and compiled the nine biggest business moves—positive and negative—that 2013 has brought, celebrating those who are pushing the business forward. After all, it’s a business, man. —Dan Rys (@danrys)