Music is a much smaller and less significant part of many people’s lives than 10-20 years ago.  There is more competition for our attention and the value of music has declined precipitously. This graphic shows the rise of digital against physical music, and the overall impact of piracy, widespread distribution and digital media on the music industry. The sad story is that overall the music business is shrinking. That is a fact that we all have to face.  The silver lining in all of this may be on the horizon, but it cannot come soon enough for me. We have to do something to reverse the trend.

Courtesy Daily Infographic.

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3 replies
  1. Mark says:

    I disagree! There is nothing smaller or less significant about music.

    The sustained bubble that was the music industry for the 70s 80s and 90s burst when the underlying high margin economics collapsed with the commoditization of distribution and the dissolution of the tightly controlled collusion-friendly vertical integration (think boy bands).

    Music is an even bigger part of consumers lives, never out of arms reach, a constant digital companion, with an ample set of tools for discovery. Every smart device a consumer owns has music listening and integration capabilities – about 3 per person. White earbuds are everywhere. Piracy is a reflection of an immature market, unsettled and unclaimed natural resources lacking viable economic models that suit today’s music consumer. Album economics are broken – have been for a while. But the album isn’t a broken art form. Traditional broadcast radio is a mess, desperately holding onto vestiges of a bygone era when a disc jockey controlled a playlist. The operative word here is control. But 24/7 consumer demand for music to complement their daily life continues unabated. All the while music genres are constantly calving and reforming and reinventing. Look what a DJ is today (think Wolfman vs DangerMaus). It’s easily one of the most fundamental and powerful influences on today’s culture. And it’s global in impact, immediate in effect.

    The only sad truth is the failure of the music industry leadership to adapt. They’re dinosaurs and the Internet was the asteroid that hit the industry. This infographic simply charts the extinction of different product species.

  2. treeblood says:

    Not sure I agree with your comments – “music is much smaller and less significant today” – I think music is so readily available at every point of our lives that we might take it for granted more today than at any time in history but, it is not less significant.

    Innovation has enabled an explosion of music makers. Anyone with a computer can put together a song with simple tools that are widely available, publish it and post it without any filters or distributors. Not saying that this music is the quality of the higher end productions but, it is much more prevalent and available and significant – maybe even more significant today than at any time in history.

    Classes in how to use Logic or Pro Tools are available from world class instructors online – many are free. Guitar, bass, drum, keyboard, and other instrument lessons are available for free online. YouTube, Facebook and other sites allow you to easily post newly created music. I think that these tools have torn down walls that may have been stopping music creators in the past from experimenting and trying. In my opinion, this alone makes music much more significant today than ever before.

    Music is indeed in competition with video games, movies, Netflix and a thousand other things but, many of those other things incorporate music into their offering as well.

    The music business is in a rough cycle but, I think that only means a great opportunity is around the next corner.

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