Former Too Much Joy frontman and current Rhapsody Music V.P. Tim Quirk has analyzed a bunch of Big Champagne’s filesharing data and presents a fascinating article: The Quiet Revolution. The most interesting part, to me, is where Quirk discusses “Tracks Per Fan” (i.e., “how many songs the average fan of a particular artist has in her library”):
Keep in mind that TPF is an average. So, while Bob Dylan has 3.64 tracks per fan, that means some folks have dozens of Dylan songs and some have only one. To put it in mildly embarrassing perspective: I have 423 Dylan tunes on my iPod, which means for every geek like me there have to be 159 people who only have “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” (I originally typed “Like a Rolling Stone,” by the way, but the stats say “Knockin'” is in fact the most widely shared Dylan tune).
That spread of 159 normal people for every 1 completist hoarder suggests labels aren’t losing nearly as much as they claim. Or, rather, if they are it’s not because people are stealing songs they’d have purchased otherwise. It’s because people are no longer paying for songs they never wanted in the first place.
There are so many strange things about the data Quirk presents (Gucci Mane? Aventura?), but what it comes down to is that there’s a lot of room for the music business to turn casual listeners into bigger fans.
Below, I took at look at my own iTunes library to see what kind of music fan I really am…