Sunday, February 20, 2011

A dying industry?

Despite all the hand-wringing, I was sort of feeling that an industry as popular as the music industry could never really suffer. Music is always popular after all. But heck, look at this:

Holy mama.
OK, it's worth keeping in mind that there is a difference between the music industry and music. I've no doubt music is alive and well, and will be so for as long as humans breathe.

Whether musicians can earn money is a third thing yet, and might fall somewhere in between these other two. The "music industry" after all consists mostly of middle-men making money on the work of musicians, and then a handful of very successful stars. But without that industry, how many musicians can monetize their work on their own? I'd like to know.

There was some protests about it not being inflation adjusted. I found one which is:


ttl said...

If you inflation correct the graph, there's not that much happening. Formats come and go.

Sam Pieter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sam Pieter said...

If the CD sales were, on average, like the LP and tape sales, this chart would have looked fairly stable.

This leads to: The industry is not dying, its merely 'recovering' from an anomaly.

ttl said...

“Digital” is not a format. It is a way of representing sound using discrete values.

CD is a digital format. As is SACD and DVD-A.

Perhaps he meant downloads? But how we trust a graph that doesn't even get the basics right?

ttl said...


Anonymous said...

Alex said...

Inflation corrected, great, but average spending per capita in adjusted dollars is the important thing.

Miserere said...

Eo, like you pointed out, Music and Music Industry are two different things, and Musician(s) is a third.

Very few musicians make money from their music, but record labels always make money from their musicians and music. Most musicians make their money from live performances and merchandising; they use their music as advertising for their shows, so to speak.

I look forward to the day when the music industry topples and falls. That will be the day we'll be free of Britney Spears, New Kids on the Block and other assorted aberrations.

Anonymous said...

average spending per capita in adjusted dollars is the important thing.

No it isn't. That would add nothing. We need overall totals which the graph gives us.

Alex said...

I guess I was wanting to know if music is less popular? Are people spending less money on music, not so much is the industry earning as much money as it did.

To see the industries strength I guess profit rather than revenue would be a thing to look at.

Also, how would the graph look if we considered volume sold. But how to measure volume when you have singles, EPs, albums, boxedsets to account for.

That link showing a big discussion on graphing, which I didn't see to later says more about statistics than about music. I never trust statistics because you can adjust it present very different stories.