Great Time for “Music” – Not So Much for the “Industry”

Here's a chart that's making the rounds of the Interwebs this week that illustrates as well as anything the shifting paradigm of "music" -v- the "music industry" (i.e. the recording industry.).


This is the graph the record industry doesn’t want you to see.

It shows the fate of the three main pillars of music industry revenue – recorded music, live music, and PRS revenues (royalties collected on behalf of artists when their music is played in public) over the last 5 years.

Hopefully, this analysis – and there’s more on the nuts and bolts of our method below – sheds some factual light on the claims and counter-claims that are paranoically sweeping across the music industry establishment, not least that put forward by the singer Lily Allen in this paper recently – and the BPI – that artists are losing out as a result of the fall in sales of recorded of music.

The most immediate revelation, of course, is that at some point next year revenues from gigs payable to artists will for the first time overtake revenues accrued by labels from sales of recorded music.


OK, so, it doesn't exactly support the argument that the "remunerative value of recorded music is approaching zero," but it does support the widely-held contention that the value in music now is in the "live" experience, and not so much in the recordings.   

And the article that comes with the chart supports the seemingly contradictory business model that you can actually "create value" by giving stuff away.