State Of The Music Business: What The Numbers Tell Us
The music industry has changed in so many ways since I started working for MCA Records and BMG Music back in the 90’s. Back in “the day” when there was a music business and the only way to buy music was to actually spend your hard earned dollars at a record store and I’m not talking about the virtual kind. In Montreal where I grew up record stores where everywhere and it took only a bus ticket and a few stops on the metro to get there. You had a choice of many stores and on any given day there was a deal to lure you to Discus, A&A Records or Sam The Record Man. I had to be a music demon to get in line on a Saturday at 6:00 A.M., in a snowstorm on the coldest day of the year to get in on the Christmas promotions! Hundreds lined the street for a chance to buy the new releases on cassette or vinyl, save a few bucks and get in on the great promotions.
It became an event and an experience that so many of us remember. While standing in line and rummaging through the stacks of records, we engaged with like-minded fans and music lovers. Got turned on to cool new albums just because of the outrageous covers or seductive content on the inside. The radio stations were on hand to give away more SWAG and if you were lucky you won tickets to a concert. This was as grassroots as you can get. Waiting in line, connecting with one another, sharing the passion for music and being the first to buy your favorite record before it sold out.
The passion, creativity and drive for artists to get in and breakthrough will always exist. Now there are so many more opportunities through technology, social media and YouTube to buy, promote and drive music to your website with out standing in the cold.
The music industry is now a digital business, deriving more than 70% of its revenues from a wide array of digital platforms and formats. The share of revenues from those digital formats surpasses that of any other creative industry.
While today’s data is encouraging, the challenges facing us are significant. The consumption of music is skyrocketing, but revenues for creators have not kept pace. In 2015, fans listened to hundreds of billions of audio and video music streams through on-demand ad-supported digital services like YouTube, but revenues from such services have been meager — far less than other kinds of music services. And the problem is getting worse. Check out the alarming disparity between the growth in the number of ad-supported streams compared to the growth in revenues generated from those streams. For more information please read the full article here.