On the contrary: music industry not dying
A new study argues that in fact “the music industry,” whatever that may be considered these days, is actually growing. Which of course isn’t really news if you pay attention to more than the top-line trends of sales of conventional platforms for retail music. But still … Money quote, as it were:
For years, we’ve been hearing doom and gloom reports about how the industry is dying, how customers just want stuff for free, about analog dollars turning into digital dimes… and (all too frequently) about how new laws are needed to save these industries.
Yet, what we find when looking through the research — from a variety of sources to corroborate and back up any research we found — is that the overall entertainment ecosystem is in a real renaissance period. The sky truly is rising, not falling: the industry is growing both in terms of revenue and content. We split the report up into video & film, books, music and video games — and all four segments are showing significant growth (not shrinking) over the last decade. All of them are showing tremendous opportunity. The amount of content that they’re all producing is growing at an astounding rate (which again, is the most important thing). But revenue, too, is growing. Equally important is that rather than consumers just wanting to get stuff for free, they have continually spent a greater portion of their income on entertainment — with the percentage increasing by 15% from 2000 to 2008.
This all points to the fact that what is happening within the industry is not a challenge of a business getting smaller — quite the opposite. It’s about the challenge of an industry getting larger, but doing so in ways that route around the existing structures.
The takeaway, I think, is that we’re conditioned to assume “growth” in music, as in other industrial complexes of modern capitalism, aligns with profit-taking in certain easily identifiable ways (record companies, artists, retailers, promoters etc), and/but that’s all been scrambled and is and has been realigning in new forms that will probably eventually be readable in terms of a more traditional balance sheet of producers and consumers and supply and demand. But right now, things are still very much in flux.Email this Post