Music Diary Notes: Digital Music Consumes Increasing Amount of Decreasing Pie

Music Diary Notes: Digital Music Consumes Increasing Amount of Decreasing Pie

I have written about the continuing decline of music sales, as well as the increasingly desperate measures labels are using to puff up their chosen ‘top stars’ by means that might land them in jail in other industries.

It has also always been clear that the industry hates digital music – and especially digital singles! This at the same time as consumers have increasingly shown a desire for digital music – and the ability to only buy the songs they want.

The impact of this cognitive dissonance is clear: consumers are being pushed in a direction they don’t want to go, and as a result sales are down. Rather than adapt, the music industry is suing grandmothers and pushing traditional pop artists like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry when more and more people are looking for alternatives like Manchester Orchestra, Deadmau5 and so on.

In a cool animated GIF from Digital Music News, we see how at the same time as digital music is taking off, overall revenues are shrinking. The music industry would blame piracy – because they are idiots with their heads in the sand.

Every year, digital keeps booming – but the pie keeps shrinking. And to illustrate the trend, here’s a year-by-year breakdown of physical and digital percentages, with the broader size of the pie scaled to overall recording industry revenues. These are US-based revenue figures supplied by the RIAA; figures in $millions.

The worst thing – with the ultra-branched networks every label has (this label is part of this group which is part of this company which is part of this “L”abel which is part of Warner Music Group or whatever), the music industry is better set up to service their customers than ever before. Blue Note Records as part of EMI has much more resources than they would as a true ‘independent’. Yet they are all constrained by the short-sightedness of their upper management.

What do you think would help the music industry grow again?

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About the Author

Michael Anderson
I have loved technology for as long as I can remember - and have been a computer gamer since the PDP-10! Mobile Technology has played a major role in my life - I have used an electronic companion since the HP95LX more than 20 years ago, and have been a 'Laptop First' person since my Compaq LTE Lite 3/20 and Powerbook 170 back in 1991! As an avid gamer and gadget-junkie I was constantly asked for my opinions on new technology, which led to writing small blurbs ... and eventually becoming a reviewer many years ago. My family is my biggest priority in life, and they alternate between loving and tolerating my gaming and gadget hobbies ... but ultimately benefits from the addition of technology to our lives!