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Music Businesses Piracy The Media

Music Industry Sees First Revenue Increase Since 1999 393

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the doom-and-gloom dept.
Zaatxe writes with a bit of news about the music industry; sales are slightly up (basically flat). From the article: "The music industry, the first media business to be consumed by the digital revolution, said on Tuesday that its global sales rose last year for the first time since 1999, raising hopes that a long-sought recovery might have begun. The increase, of 0.3 percent, was tiny, and the total revenue, $16.5 billion, was a far cry from the $38 billion that the industry took in at its peak more than a decade ago. Still, even if it is not time for the record companies to party like it's 1999, the figures, reported Tuesday by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, provide significant encouragement. 'At the beginning of the digital revolution it was common to say that digital was killing music,' said Edgar Berger, chief executive of the international arm of Sony Music Entertainment. Now, he added, it could be said 'that digital is saving music.'" Because CDs aren't digital. CD sales are declining, and being replaced by the sale of lossy files. I wonder how much more money they could be making if they'd just sell folks lossless music on the open market (not just iTunes) since at least that's all that keeps me buying a CD or three a year (I own way too many CDs personally, and stopped buying music until discovering Bandcamp and easy lossless downloads rekindled my desire to find new stuff).
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Music Industry Sees First Revenue Increase Since 1999

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  • Keep your guard up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crazyjj (2598719) * on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @09:47AM (#43023569)

    Make no mistake about it, the music industry still DREAMS of going back to the days when they could charge you $15 for a CD that you had to buy just to listen to one lousy song. Turn your back on them, and they WILL try to go back to a similar model.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Turn your back on them, and they WILL try to go back to a similar model.

      I think you have that backwards, there's been plenty bands who have refused to be part of the online/streaming business or backed out again and the results seem pretty much unanimous. They try going back to a similar model, and the customers turn their backs on them, either they fire up their P2P clients or just play one of the many songs who are easily available that the band doesn't make it a PITA to pay for. If you think that any more than a few die hard fans will go out of their way to buy your music, y

    • by AvitarX (172628)

      Isn't the music.industry thriving, and It's just the recorded music industry struggling (like the article says)?

      I'd think large parts of the music industry most definitely do not want to go to the old ways (venues for example benefit greatly when disposable money from music fans doesn't go to CDs).

      wrt to your Sig, I remember neither, but the photos I've seen of the 60s don't paint a pretty picture, and are why I put civil rights and non-judgement as very high political priorities.

      • by Hentes (2461350) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @10:28AM (#43023969)

        Exactly, these numbers are only for recorded music. While CD sales are dropping, ticket sales soar. And as musicians get a bigger cut from live performances, everybody is happy except the middlemen who have been cut out and a thin elite of top musicians who hoped they could retire at the age of 30.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by fustakrakich (1673220)

          I'm sure Ticketmaster isn't exactly crying on the way to the bank. They are the other monopoly that needs to be crushed.

          • by greg1104 (461138)

            I bought tickets to four concerts last month. One went through TicketFly. The others were all sold by the venues, as directly as they could manage. All of them had "service charges" that were pretty large, considering all of them involved merely picking up the ticket at the will-call booth--no other way to get them. Ticketmaster is slowly being pushed into irrelevancy, but its replacements aren't that much better.

        • by Githaron (2462596)

          ... and a thin elite of top musicians who hoped they could retire at the age of 30.

          I would best most of them could anyway except they would not be able to afford their second yacht.

        • by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:47PM (#43025553) Homepage

          And as musicians get a bigger cut from live performances, everybody is happy except the middlemen who have been cut out and a thin elite of top musicians who hoped they could retire at the age of 30.

          Maybe not so much... Many artists are being saddled with what are called "360" deals, meaning that the labels get their cut of performances, merchandise sold at performances, publishing, and other media usage of the material. The labels will put in money promoting and fronting money for the tours and selling the new IP they've retained in the deal. But, at the end of the day, it's all accounted using the same shady practices that the 'AA's have always used, so now the artist isn't even guaranteed to make money from performance or publishing either - he or she is living advance to advance in indentured servitude trying to pay off what his or her label has supposedly fronted for his or her "success".

      • by firex726 (1188453)

        Yep, many times in these sort of reports they do not figure in digital sales, only "albums", so they sell a shit ton of a single song but in the final report it's only the albums that are counted and they appear to be hemorrhaging money; then claim to need more protection for their "failing" business model, even though they are swimming in money.

    • by bedroll (806612) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @10:20AM (#43023897) Journal

      What's missing from the article is a comparison of actual sales numbers. The RIAA members are bringing less revenue in but selling more music. That's because people are paying less and digital suppliers are taking a larger cut than traditional retailers. That's what the whole digital revolution was really about, people reacted not just to free music, but to the greed and abusive pricing models of the industry.

      Another piece that's missing from the article is that independent music sales now make up a far larger portion of the industry. While some of these numbers are likely to be included in a report like this, many of them are not because the independent artists are not members. The overall music industry may well have eclipsed 1999 revenue a few years ago, but we wouldn't know because only the label revenues are counted.

      In short, I think you're right. The industry pines for the days when buying a copy of their works required a physical copy, not just because of bundling though.

    • by jsepeta (412566)
      $15? remember $18? or $40-$100 for a box set? fuck the RIAA. seriously, fuck them.
    • by Eraesr (1629799)
      All I worry about is that the RIAA and their kin will interpret this news as their witch hunt on piracy is finally paying off, and all they need to do now is increase their efforts tenfold with even more invasive and restrictive measures.
      • by JeanCroix (99825) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:11PM (#43025045) Journal
        Worried about it? That's been their interpretation since day one. If sales are up, then "their witch hunt on piracy is finally paying off, and all they need to do now is increase their efforts tenfold with even more invasive and restrictive measures." But if sales are down, then their witch hunt on piracy isn't paying off yet, and all they need to do now is increase their efforts tenfold with even more invasive and restrictive measures.
    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @10:33AM (#43024021) Journal

      Make no mistake about it, the music industry still DREAMS of going back to the days when they could charge you $15 for a CD that you had to buy just to listen to one lousy song. Turn your back on them, and they WILL try to go back to a similar model.

      The people who once wanted to charge you $15 for a CD still want to charge you $15 for a CD. If you actually read the article, it's not the "big five" or any of the RIAA members that they're talking about movin' on up. Instead it's distributors like Apple’s iTunes Music Service, Amazon MP3, Spotify, Rhapsody and Muve Music. Google will join them eventually. But you're not going to see UMG, Warner, Sony/BMG, etc because they're still fighting these models. It's just turning into a really slow and long and painful turnover process as the money changes hands. Singer songwriters and performers are learning they don't need big labels as their music will pretty much advertise itself on social media and YouTube. That means the only big guys feeding off them are the distributors listed in the article. Time will tell if the distributors will hang around or continue to undercut each other (since it doesn't appear to be contractual and exclusive like label contracts). But one thing is for sure: more money is making it into the hands of a more diverse group of musicians. And the industry is more diverse and healthier because of that.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Singer songwriters and performers are learning they don't need big labels as their music will pretty much advertise itself on social media and YouTube.

        Actually, just the ones who are any good; now, only talentless hacks need the RIAA labels.

        The labels have always (at least in my not short lifetime) been stupidly greedy. I learned by the time I was 14 never to buy an album based on one song I heard on the radio. It was "best of", "greatest hits" and "live" unless I heard the album. My crazy friend Tom turned

    • by operagost (62405)

      Make no mistake about it, the music industry still DREAMS of going back to the days when they could charge you $15 for a CD that you had to buy just to listen to one lousy song

      The market drove that change. The recording industry started off selling single songs (and later, two) on cylinders and 78 RPM discs, then 45 RPM vinyl, then cassette singles, then CD singles... then nothing, because the cassingles and CD singles weren't selling anymore. The cassingles were popular for about four years, and the CD

      • the CD singles never were [popular].

        You know why? There were a few of those "funny size" CD-Singles that often required an ugly plastic "adapter", a format which was eventually abandoned, replaced by "regular size" CDs. Include a remix or two and it's a "CD-Maxi".

        Ignoring the history of them, how popular do you think regular "singles" would have been if they had came on full-size LPs, with just two tracks at the start, and 80% of the vinyl being totally blank?

    • by mlts (1038732) * on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @11:14AM (#43024399)

      That is the past. What they dream of is:

      1: Paying for the media, which is DRM-locked to a device upon first use in a player.

      2: Paying for each listen to tracks.

      3: Paying for being transferred to another device.

      4: Paying each year for an unlock key for the media for the locked device.

      5: Paying extra for "DLC"-like ability to listen to the top songs on an album.

      6: GPS device that charges if the player is playing in a public area.

      7: Additional fees for playing music in more than one location in a house.

      8: Additional fees for stereo, 5.1, higher quality, ability to use equalization, ability to use monitors or better speakers, or playing in a vehicle.

      9: Additional fees if more than one person is in the area where the device is playing.

      10: Fees to copy the tracks to and from a device.

      I'm sure there are a lot more, but with DRM and devices having hardware copy-protection stacks, this all could be a reality very quickly.

      • by Githaron (2462596)
        Not if they want customers.
      • by Rogerborg (306625)
        Way too complicated. They could just take a cut from ISPs or Google or general taxation, an extension of the blank media tax that already exists, then they wouldn't have to actually bother with that tiresome business of actually making content.
    • by guttentag (313541)

      Turn your back on them, and they WILL try to go back to a similar model.

      That ship has sailed. Their future now lies in following the movie industry by adding extra unskippable tracks at the beginning of the album that advertise other albums, contain public service message warnings about piracy and disclaimers like "the opinions expressed in the music you are about to hear do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the studio or music distribution service." Expect Blu-Ray versions of albums to be released with 3-D music you can only hear with special glasses -- listening to the

    • by tompaulco (629533)
      $15 for a CD that you had to buy just to listen to one lousy song.
      I don't know why you would bother to buy a CD if the best song on their is still lousy. Apparently it is good enough that people would listen to it if they could get it for free.
      Personally, I yearn for the days when every song an album used to be awesome. I'm not really sure what happened, but I have over 200 CDs mostly from the late 1960s and 1970s, and every single song on the CD is at least something I wouldn't want to hit the skip but
      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Personally, I yearn for the days when every song an album used to be awesome. I'm not really sure what happened, but I have over 200 CDs mostly from the late 1960s and 1970s, and every single song on the CD is at least something I wouldn't want to hit the skip button on.

        Oh, there were plenty of stinkers back then, but the ones that survived are the good ones. I know I bought plenty of albums in the late '60s I'd wished I hadn't, because the song I'd heard on the radio was the only one that didn't suck. I go

  • Media distortion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DigiShaman (671371) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @09:50AM (#43023595) Homepage

    Just you wait! Five years will pass and the RIAA will claim this event was the result of the six strikes ISP rule. Given enough time, a little historical revisionism is all it takes to cascade the "truth" to your favor.

  • by yincrash (854885) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @09:50AM (#43023597)
    Only happened because the music industry absolutely refused to sell DRM-free music for a decade. No one wanted to buy music that could go obsolete when the store went away.
    • by Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @10:13AM (#43023831)
      Music industry =/= Recording industry

      In fact, the music industry has been doing just fine on the whole, and was largely unaffected by piracy. The recording industry (aka the RIAA and goons) have been suffering, rightfully so
      • by mlts (1038732) * on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @11:26AM (#43024511)

        I'd add a third variable into it, as a devil's advocate:

        Music industry -- doing well.
        Recording industry -- meh.
        Artists -- dead.

        Because the recording industry is not fairing well, they have only focused on markets which give them revenue, which tends to be teens/tweens. This is why we are only seeing pop acts like the Justin Beibers promoted compared to Kurt Cobains or acts that might define/push a genre outwards. Add to this radio, where most "rock" stations are living in a time warp ending around 1995, and it is impossible for an artist to "make it big" these days with a band.

        • by medcalf (68293)
          And yet, between YouTube, iTMS, Amazon, a local indie station, and satellite radio, I am finding and hearing more great music than any time since the early 80s. And far more of the money I'm spending on music is going to the artists than did then. So in short, I think you're wrong.
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @09:51AM (#43023607) Journal

    I own way too many CDs personally, and stopped buying music until discovering Bandcamp and easy lossless downloads rekindled my desire to find new stuff

    Yes, I've commented on bandcamp [slashdot.org] many times on Slashdot [slashdot.org] and have been using it for years now. Actually when this article came up I was listening to an album released on 06 February 2013 by a relatively unknown artist half a continent away. They're asking $7 for a 6 track album which I find to be a little pricey but the music is good. I think I'll listen to it a few more times before I decide if I want to buy it. That's something you'll never find the RIAA doing and although I'd found bands that did it on their sites and a few independent labels do it but Bandcamp centralizes it. I've seen independent labels just dump their whole catalog on Bandcamp so it must do something for sales (Boston's Top Shelf Records [bandcamp.com] just did it and I've been enamored with Slingshot Dakota who I had never heard of before).

    I think Bandcamp is close to how an ideal music market should operate. Their selection algorithms and rating listings needs serious work but everyone can play and you select your quality when you download.

    • by karnal (22275)

      In my five minute review of Bandcamp, it seems pretty awesome. My biggest issue when it comes to music sites like this is finding content - whether it be similar to another artist, or in a correct category (no "progressive" category, I noticed...)

      I'll probably spend some more time with it later, but I haven't really found anything by randomly clicking around yet.

    • by Piata (927858)

      This a thousand times.

      I love Bandcamp and Top Shelf Records. Bandcamp is the first music platform that actually suits my needs and gives me all kinds of music to listen to with no strings attached. If I find myself listening to an album a lot, I purchase it just for the sake of convenience. Being able to download the album in any format I choose is also handy because I can download a FLAC version to play on my computer and a more compressed MP3 version to play on my phone.

      I've actually been so happy with To

  • CD's ARE digital (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @09:52AM (#43023629)

    Last time I checked, CD's are digital. Did that change? Are CD's now analog?

    • Can't be. Everytime I try to play one on my turntable, it just makes a terrible hissing noise.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Actual quote from executives there. Then they prosecuted, lobbied, internationally legislated any and all innovation out of existence. And they wonder why they have such trouble generating revenues from new markets.

    I think these numbers are still better than they deserve. Burn in hell, executives.

  • Lossless Files (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @09:54AM (#43023641)

    I wonder how much more money they could be making if they'd just sell folks lossless music on the open market

    Most people don't understand what this even means, let alone actually care. All they know is availability and cost, along with how many songs they can fit on their iDevice.

    • by Rufus Firefly (2379458) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @10:04AM (#43023757)
      More to the point, I listen to my music in my car piped over the interwebs through my phone through my bluetooth through my car's stereo to 105.1 on the dial. I don't really give a rat's ass about "lossy," I care about whether the tune rocks, or whether my kids want to hear a particular song off teh server (subsonic, ftw). I suppose if I were sitting in a dark room wearing huge 70s style headphones while masturbating with my monster cables, AND I were a dog so I could hear the difference, I suppose that "lossy" would make a difference...
      • So the introduction of better quality formats might push down the price of formats acceptable to you, what's not to like ?
    • Geekthink (Score:5, Informative)

      by danaris (525051) <`moc.cam' `ta' `siranad'> on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @10:24AM (#43023927) Homepage

      I wonder how much more money they could be making if they'd just sell folks lossless music on the open market

      Most people don't understand what this even means, let alone actually care. All they know is availability and cost, along with how many songs they can fit on their iDevice.

      Exactly.

      I hear this repeated in every thread on a geek site about music revenues, but it's so plainly silly. They're leaving hardly any money on the table by not selling lossless music on the open market, because only a vanishingly small minority of consumers have a clue what lossless music even is, let alone care enough to pay extra for it.

      So many geeks really, really need to either get out into the real world, or at least watch some non-geeky TV shows (or, heck, even the non-geeky people in the geeky shows; Penny in Big Bang Theory is a decent example...), to see how the vast majority of America's (and the West's in general) population thinks. It has very little to do with studying all the technical aspects of something and deciding carefully which choice has the greatest benefit for the least cost.

      Until they do this, they will continue to be frustrated and baffled by the things that succeed and fail in markets, and what's even offered. (Once you understand how people think, you may still be frustrated, but at least you'll be less baffled! :-D )

      Dan Aris

  • CD's Not digital (Score:4, Informative)

    by Danathar (267989) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @09:54AM (#43023645) Journal

    "Because CDs aren't digital."

    Uh..yes, they are.

    • by Chrisq (894406) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @09:58AM (#43023697)

      "Because CDs aren't digital."

      Uh..yes, they are.

      At the quantum level isn't everything?

    • by fa2k (881632)

      I was trying to work out whether that was sarcastic or not. I think it is, in response to the use of "digital" in the quote, because it would be a useless comment otherwise

      • by fa2k (881632)

        (just to clarify, I was referring to the comment "Because CDs aren't digital.(period)" in the summary. I think the submitter already adressed this, to prevent the "CDs are digital" posts, but not in the most effective way)

    • by fermion (181285)
      Also, the 'lossless' 'lossy' thing really kills me. It is like people paying double for Monster cables.

      Music is recorded for the type of playback devices that are going to be used. Right now the playback device is an iPod. It used to be tapes or CD. In the long ago it was a turntable with seperate amplifier and huge speakers. Before that is was an integrated unit playing a wax cylinder, the same unit was used to record a bunch of people playing and singing as loud as the could into the microphone/loud

  • Napster (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stevegee58 (1179505) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @09:55AM (#43023657) Journal
    Funny how the initial release of Napster coincides with the start of the music industry's doldrums (1999).
    • Re:Napster (Score:4, Insightful)

      by pr0t0 (216378) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @10:12AM (#43023823)

      What's maybe more interesting is that there are now so many methods to purchase music online now, that people born at or shortly before Napster have never really known a world in which it wasn't easy to get digital music through legal means, free or otherwise. Back in 1999, the RIAA wouldn't let go of the old models of selling music or explore new ones. Although I don't know Fanning's real motivations, I believe one of the reasons for Napster was to address the need for digital music in a marketplace absent of options.

      There will always be a segment that wants their music for free, but I think that number is ever-shrinking. In 1999, people were starving for downloadable music. Now it's commonplace so obviously digital sales increase and piracy declines. It's what the users of this site have been saying for more than a decade.

  • by GWRedDragon (1340961) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @09:57AM (#43023681)
    Anyone else think this may be due to a poorer quality of music signed with the labels? I know everyone always thinks things were better 'back in the day', but that doesn't make it not true.
    • by greg1104 (461138)

      When I bought my first LP in 1976, the music at the top of the charts was "Disco Duck". People tend the remember the best music from each era in hindsight, forget about all the terrible stuff that's always been popular.

      • Of course it is obvious that there has always been bad music, but has the quantity of good music decreased? It seems to me that the music industry has suffered from the same pressures as most other industries; producing lower quality, less risky products and making up the difference in marketing is the rule of the day.
    • Pretty much. Currently the most successful group in the UK is One Direction. I don't have anything against them, they seem like a nice bunch of 20-year olds having a lot of fun being popstars. However I can't imagine anyone other than their teenage fans actively seeking out and enjoying listening to their music for years to come. I expect them to have vanished in five years to make way for the next guys.
    • by Piata (927858)

      The music industry is more fragmented these days. There's something for everyone out there; you just need to do a little more digging because the mainstream acts are polished productions that are as much marketing as music.

      If you think things were better back in the day then that's probably because you're a grumpy old man or you just aren't into music anymore.

  • 'At the beginning of the digital revolution it was common to say that digital was killing music,' said Edgar Berger, chief executive of the international arm of Sony Music Entertainment. Now, he added, it could be said 'that digital is saving music.'

    Isn't this what everyone at Slashdot have wanted? Adapting the music business to the modern world and new practices. Now we are getting there.

    CD sales are declining, and being replaced by the sale of lossy files. I wonder how much more money they could be making if they'd just sell folks lossless music on the open market (not just iTunes) since at least that's all that keeps me buying a CD or three a year

    There should be no problem including a FLAC as a download option, and that is what should be done. The full audio master image wouldn't be a bad idea either.

    • by Legion303 (97901)

      "Isn't this what everyone at Slashdot have wanted?"

      Obviously it's impossible to claim *everyone* wanted it, but likely a majority did. 16 years ago.

      Now I think it's safe to say that the majority of Slashdot just wants the big players in the music industry to drown in raw sewage. I know I do.

  • by fermat1313 (927331) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @09:58AM (#43023687)

    "At the beginning of the digital revolution it was common to say that digital was killing music," said Edgar Berger, chief executive of the international arm of Sony Music Entertainment. "Now, he added, it could be said 'that digital is saving music."

    "At the beginning of the digital revolution it was common to say that digital was killing the music industry," said Edgar Berger, chief executive of the international arm of Sony Music Entertainment. "Now, he added, it could be said 'that digital is saving the music industry."

    FTFY

    This is where they just don't get it. Music has never been in danger. Nothing in the industry has or will stop people from making and performing great music. They aren't concerned with saving music, just their cut of music.

  • by RevWaldo (1186281) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @10:03AM (#43023747)
    ...with the turbulence created from "CDs aren't digital" whooshing over the ACs heads.

    .
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @10:12AM (#43023827)

    Revenue from albums? Actual sales are way up and have been for years:

    Here's the 2012 report:
    http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120105005547/en/Nielsen-Company-Billboard%E2%80%99s-2011-Music-Industry-Report

    Overall sales
    2012, 2011, Gain
    1,661 , 1,611 , 3.10%

    Even album sales are up in that report.

    Here's their Canadian one from 2009 (couldn't find the US one)
    http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100204007048/en/Nielsen-Company-Billboard%E2%80%99s-2009-Canadian-Industry-Report

    Same thing, total tracks sales are way up, album equivalent are also up. (See the 'overall album sales' +2%).

    The price hasn't gone up, so the only way revenue has gone up, is if Apple and Walmart and the rest have paid out more of their income for the music.

  • by JWW (79176)

    Now they can stop treating their customers like criminals. Right, right??

  • by fa2k (881632) <pmbjornstadNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @10:30AM (#43023979)

    What's this "(not just iTunes)" in the summary, do they sell lossless DRM-free music on iTunes? If so, that's amazing! We can't really whine about the music industry then, any geek on slashdot should be able to hack together some VM or Wine to run iTunes, possibly easier than ripping a CD.

  • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @10:31AM (#43024001)

    I wrote this about a year ago. Copy/pasting because it's still relevant.

    So, claims are regularly made suggesting that the music industry is failing, usually followed by claims that tougher laws are needed to protect the hard working people in the music industry.
    Â
    Small problem - it's not true.
    Â
    The music industry is not in as bad a situation as claims would suggest.ÂHere are some interesting statistics:
    Â
    Music publishing revenues are on an upward trend.
    Worldwide Music Publishing Revenues (2006 - 2011)Â
    http://grabstats.com/statmain.asp?StatID=69 [grabstats.com]
    $8.0 billion (2006)
    $8.3 billion (2007)
    $8.6 billion (2008)
    $8.9 billion (2009)
    $9.1 billion (2010)
    $9.4 billion (2011)
    Â
    Live music (concert) revenues are on a upward trend.
    Worldwide Live Music / Concert Revenues (2006 - 2011)Â
    http://grabstats.com/statmain.asp?StatID=70 [grabstats.com]
    $16.6 billion (2006)
    $18.1 billion (2007)
    $19.4 billion (2008)
    $20.8 billion (2009)
    $22.2 billion (2010)
    $23.5 billion (2011)
    Â
    The entire industry's revenues (*)Âare on an upward trend.
    Worldwide Music Industry Revenues (2006 - 2011)Â
    http://grabstats.com/statmain.asp?StatID=67 [grabstats.com]
    2006 ($60.7 billion)
    2007 ($61.5 billion)
    2008 ($62.6 billion)
    2009 ($65.0 billion)
    2010 ($66.4 billion)
    2011 ($67.6 billion)
    Â
    * The "entire industry" isÂdefined as "Revenues are for record labels, music publishers, recording artists, performing artists, composers, concert venues and merchandise, companies; includes revenues from sales of physical recordings, digital music services (online and mobile), music publishing and live music."
    Â
    Â
    What is most interesting about these numbers is it supports what I have felt for a long time - the major players in the music industry have realized that CD sales are nice but that's not how to get rich - the big money (almost 2.5 times the money...) is in concerts. That is why acts like 'N Sync and Britney and Beiber and U2 and Lady Gaga and damn near everyone are regularly on tour. They've realized that people are spending more and more on actually going to the concert to experience the music. They realized that to be financially successful means touring a lot. CD sales makes one wealthy but a concert tour makes one rich.
    Â
    These numbers show that the music industry isn't failing. It isn't even shrinking. The _industry_ is growing, across the board. Yes, there are individual companies that might be suffering and there are individual bands that are suffering and there are probably specific geographic regions that are suffering but the industry, as a whole, is thriving - it is growing.
    Â
    One thing I do agree with the music industry, however, is that the internet is a big reason for this - we just disagree on the direction their profits are headed...

    • by geekoid (135745)

      the major players in the music industry have realized that CD sales are nice but that's not how to get rich - the big money

      Can you back that up? Cause no one has done that so far. Top pop songs earn over 2 million a year in royalties alone.
      There are cases where that does happen. Usually entrenched acts that make very little new music and rely on a middle class spending money to listen to the songs of their teenage years. see: Springsteen.

      OTOH, Spears made less in concerts then albums, and the same with Emi

  • by Andrio (2580551) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @10:32AM (#43024009)
    It just threatened the Corporate Mafia that controlled every aspect of music and its distribution.
  • by jsepeta (412566) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @10:38AM (#43024083) Homepage

    The diversity of available music is greater now than ever, as the industry has been evolving, albeit painfully for the older labels. Artists can make a living through hard work, not necessarily through CD sales alone. Hell, some bands make more money from merchandise than from music (I'm talking to you, KISS). This has been true since at least the 1990's when my band the Dharma Bums made a killing on t-shirts and realized that's where the money was.

    Never once has the industry blamed CLEAR CHANNEL for fucking up music distribution. Yet through their domination of local radio, nationally, Clear Channel calls the shots, picks the hits, and generally limits the availability of interesting music by focusing on the "stars" it decides to popularize. This is far more insidious than dropping $100 off at the radio station so the DJ will play your new 45.

    After Napster came out, the industry stopped selling CD singles and raised the price of CD's to $18 retail. This had a stronger dampening effect than free music downloads, as many of the people who were exposed to new music through downloads would eventually by cd's to support their new favorite musicians. Plus, one cannot claim that 1 episode of free downloading = 1 lost sale, as many downloaders would never purchase music to begin with (financial constraints, stick-it-to-the-man, live concerts not available for sale, etc). Yes, scientific studies showed that music sales went UP in college towns where Napster was popular.

    I'm encouraged by new arrivals like BandCamp, SoundCloud, Gobbler, and other new musical tools for the web -- but discouraged by the shitty pay musicians earn from streaming dis-services like Spotify. As a hobbyist musician with many friends in the industry, I recognize that it's hard to make a living doing what you like doing, but for many of them, they have no choice -- music drives creatives to create. And that is what we should support -- the human spirit, not some fucking RIAA executive making $80k/year by prosecuting grampas and teenagers.

    Let us not forget that the RIAA and MPAA have forced taxes on all Americans for blank media -- cassettes and CD-R's -- because they assume we're "pirates" who are stealing from them. Nevermind the fact that blank optical media is used for storing computer data that may not have any relevance whatsoever to their claim. Nevermind the fact that I'm more inclined to make cd's of my own songs than to dupe the latest Rihanna (will NEVER happen, boys, cuz I think she sucks #TaintedLove). The RIAA and MPAA have been nursing the public's teat for a long time -- it's time for them to grow the fuck up.

    • by mlts (1038732) *

      I will state this. Before the FCC allowed lots of stations to be owned by one player, one could always listen and end up hearing new music. After the buyouts, most stations just play the same 10-50 songs. It is a negative feedback loop because it makes local stations irrelevant. The same content can be obtained from a satellite radio station.

      These days, it is hard to find one "hangout" where people can hear something new.

      Maybe I'm getting old... I remember days where the people who bragged about listeni

    • Nevermind the fact that I'm more inclined to make cd's of my own songs

      It looks like you're trying to write a song, record it, and distribute it to the public. How do you make sure that the song you wrote wasn't already written by someone else? What steps should be taken to prevent another Bright Tunes Music v. Harrisongs Music, where George Harrison lost a million dollar lawsuit over having accidentally copied a Ronald Mack song into his "My Sweet Lord"?

  • All digitally encoded analog data is "lossy." Even CDs are "lossy." Any time analog is translated to a storage medium, there is "loss." Even high quality MP3s are considered lossy, but if I copy them from one device to another, the file does not change and nothing is lost. While it is true that the form of compression used to further encode MP3s is "lossy" or "lossier" the encoder (the person doing the encoding) most often determines the quality of the file. Most of the time, there is no effective los

    • Going from analog to digital transform your waveform into a limited number of truncated values (sampling rate and sampling precision). Your pure sinewave is converted into a square one but on the whole it's still the same frequency and harmonics.

      Going from digital to MP3/AAC/etc is lossy in the sense that the digital waveform loses whole bands of frequencies in each pack of compressed data. Think hundreds of changing mid-band filters every second. You lose frequencies and harmonics hundreds of times every s

      • It's a totally different kind of loss.

        But loss nonetheless. Some people report being able to perceive frequencies above the 20-22 kHz rolloff of Compact Disc Digital Audio, or to perceive the -93 dBFS noise floor of CD especially in pre-Discman material. (The loudness race was ultimately an attempt to overcome the cheap headphone amplifier in portable CD players.) Whether they can actually ABX these differences I'm not so sure.

      • by erroneus (253617)

        So you're trying to get into "acceptable loss" vs "unacceptable loss" which largely comes down to opinion.

        It is technically possible to go straight from analog to [lossy] compressed encoded signals. My point is that is really boils down mostly to perception over practical reality.

    • by fa2k (881632)

      The point of digitisation is really the first point where you can start to discuss loss. Before then, it is all up in the air, and you just hope they use good microphones and you could argue that this is where the "art" happens. The parameters of the digital to analogue conversion certainly impact the quality, and so does the mastering (which also is an art). The sound engineer needs to down-mix all the different instruments and voices into a stereo (or surround) mix, which is just a few continuous waveform

  • The industry as a whole makes a lot more money. This is just the revenue the classic industry (Sony, BMG, Warner, ...) sees, indie artists that aren't represented by the MAFIAA have been making a lot of money in the mean time, so much that indie artists and their labels are popping up all over the place and being profitable.

  • by MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @10:53AM (#43024217) Homepage

    In my younger days, I purchased vinyl 45 RPM singles for hit songs, and LP records for albums. For the car, most people used 8-track cartridges. They sucked, because the tape slides against itself internally, causing "wow and flutter". They also wore out as the lubrication was consumed. I was unusual because I'd record them to cassette tapes. Soon the 8-track got a bad reputation, and people switched to recording their own cassettes. The industry cried foul - we were "stealing" from them. Rather than selling multiple 8-track cartridges (due to wear), they only sold a single cassette or LP, and users would freely copy them. Oddly enough, sales rose.

    When the CD came out, the industry raised the price about 50%, claiming it cost more to produce than vinyl records. We accepted that "fact", and repurchased most of our music collection.

    A funny thing happened - the CD-R arrived. Suddenly we could make copies of a music CD for $1. People felt screwed. We knew the record companies screwed the bands, and we knew they were overcharging us, but charging 15 times the cost of a CD-R pissed a lot of people off.

    Soon, we had a CD at home, and perfect copies at work, in the car and at the girlfriend's house. Wear it out? No problem - burn another copy. Find a new artist? Burn a copy for a friend. In theory, you'd think this would have caused a massive sales drop, since the earlier formats wore out and the CD did not. Yet, while the industry argued they were losing sales, it turned out to be the period of highest sales in history.

    Then Napster and MP3 players appeared. Suddenly the industry was in a panic. The MPAA began an aggressive attack on downloaders, and sued anyone they could find as a scare tactic. Even though past history showed that sharing was a form of viral marketing, they wanted to kill it - perhaps because they have little control over it.

    To my ears, nothing wrecks a song like Autotune (sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard to me) compressed to MP3. Most new music sounded too processed and too compressed. In a sea of over-processed crap, I'm finding it hard to find music I want to buy. So I don't.

    The music industry doesn't understand the people like me buy music because my music-geek friends would share. Without that discovery vector, I'm simply not exposed to anything I'd buy.

  • It's just another indicator that the economy is improving. The economy went to crap, and a market the survives on extra spending money had sales cut.
    Shocking.

    Add to that the price hasn't gone up with inflation, so it seem sales are worse when looking at just money.

  • 'At the beginning of the digital revolution it was common to say that digital was killing music,' said Edgar Berger, chief executive of the international arm of Sony Music Entertainment. Now, he added, it could be said 'that digital is saving music.'"

    ...and if they had adapted much sooner instead of waging a foolish war against their own customers, this would have been a much different story, something along the lines of "Music Industry Sees Business as Usual, Yet Continues to Screw Artists out of Royalties".

  • Six Strikes is working already!

  • The report celebrates the music industry as the innovator, which not only gets the internet, but is essentially the “engine of the digital ecosystem”. Sadly, this self-boasting image seems to fall apart at the stitches. When IFPI wants to censor search engines, or make ISPs filter the net, it becomes obvious that they still haven’t learned anything from their own last 10 years. Users go to search engines to pose questions, get answers and do a selection according to their own needs. People

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