As part of my job, since 2006, I have processed and saved almost every statistic related to the music industry; many of them I now post in MTT Stats (I am a few months behind). Moreover I talk to a ton of people around the industry, and I ask just as many questions pertaining to the business side of this industry.
Since I am pressed for time these days, here’s a financial incentive to do my work for me: The first person to definitively prove, with a verifiable fact, the statement I make in the next paragraph, I will PayPal you $100. This offer will never expire.
Globally, over the last 365 days, for all genres combined, for all artists that started performing live in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90, and 00s, cumulatively, there is more revenue being generated from live performances, combined with selling stuff (merch, music, apps, advertising slots, streams, licensing, publishing, etc.), than any other year in the history of the world. Moreover the graph of this number is sloping up and not down.
If we could prove or disprove the paragraph above, what would it tell us? It tells me that the big picture looks far better than the cynics would have you believe, and on the negative side…it tells me I am mistaken.
Read this quote from ASCAP (May 6th, 2010 via Hypebot)
“ASCAP reported that in 2009 collections rose to $995 million for its 380,000 members paying out more than $863 million. That’s up from $819 million in 2008 and $741 in 2007. Foreign revenue grew to nearly $302 million.”
“Music is performed more often, in more places, in more ways by more businesses than ever before. That expanded music use, combined with dramatic ASCAP Membership growth, market share increases and effective strategic management have led to stunning revenue and distribution growth for 2009,” said ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento. “Looking to 2010 and beyond, our challenge is to obtain fair rates for the increasingly valuable public performance right over Internet and wireless devices.”
Yes, for every positive news story, there is a negative news release that’s put out by the recorded music industry. If you focus on the sale of recorded music, the sky may be falling a bit (and that’s overstated); if you focus on the big picture, the music industry is more financially sound than ever, and the size of the pie is growing…not shrinking.