Freakonomics Quorum on the Future of the Music Industry

What’s the Future of the Music Industry? A Freakonomics Quorum:

As has been widely reported, sales are down. According to Nielsen SoundScan, album sales fell 18 percent between 2000 and 2006, after accounting for paid digital downloads from online stores like iTunes. While these numbers are not good, other industries have experienced similar downturns. For example, new car sales are down 22 percent for U.S. automakers.

It is important to remember that sales downturns are not atypical in the music business, and that investors remain interested in selling records. The current situation closely mirrors the post-disco bust in the early 1980s. Specifically, real revenues fell by the same percentage during the years 1979 to 1985 and 1999 to 2006. The record industry also continues to generate profits and attract interest from investors. For example, a private equity firm just last month completed a ₤3 billion takeover of EMI, and an investment group purchased the Warner Music Group in 2004 for $2.6 billion.

Facts, schmacts. Facts can be used to prove anything that is even remotely true…

MP3: Louis Armstrong – “Stormy Weather” (courtesy of WFMU’s Beware of the Blog)

2 thoughts on “Freakonomics Quorum on the Future of the Music Industry”

  1. This too shall pass…

    It’s time to tell the bean counters running the major labels to find some other industry to ruin, and to let the true believers get back to doing their thing. Where did you go, Sam Phillips and Ahmet Ertegun?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *