All You Need to Know About the Music Business
Introduction to the Ninth Edition
Well, kiddies, we’ve certainly seen a lot of changes since we last got together.
The good news is that streaming is growing at a wonderful pace. And that’s about it for the good news.
CD sales are under 25% of the business and dropping. Downloads have fallen 15% per year for the last few years. Piracy is alive and well, hiding under cyber-rocks, and YouTube delivers more audio-only music than all the other sites put together (including the pirate sites), for which the creators are paid very little (we’ll talk more about that later). All in all, the industry earnings are almost half of what they were in 2003. Also, we’re going through a major upheaval in the songwriter world that could radically change the industry.
Otherwise, it’s a lovely afternoon.
On the brighter front, we’re seeing huge growth in vinyl (to younger people, it’s a new technology; go figure) that’s only held back because every vinyl plant on the planet is at full capacity. The bad news is that it’s less than 2% of the business. But in the current state of affairs, we’ll take what we can get.
Now if you’re reading this and trying to decide whether the music business will disappear and if you’d be better off putting the price of this book into your stamp collection, there actually is a beautiful weather forecast. As we’ll discuss, streaming has the potential to make the music business bigger than it’s ever been in history. People who never would have gone into a record store are listening to streams, and the numbers are growing fast. So stick around (and buy the book).
As these new ways to exploit music take hold, you might wonder how artists get paid. Well, my friend, you’ve come to the right place. The book in your hands has the latest scoop on all these newfangled gizmos. And at no extra charge (if you act RIGHT NOW), there’s an update of what’s happening with traditional music business deals—recording, songwriting, merchandising, touring, and so forth.
So step right up. All these secrets and more are revealed just inside the tent.
P.S. Congrats if you read this. It means you’re a real Go-Getter, since most folks skip the introductions to books.