Thursday, January 29, 2015

more from the Atlantic: "Buying Music is So Over"

The top 1 percent of bands and solo artists now earn about 80 percent of all revenue from recorded music, as I wrote in "The Shazam Effect." But the market for streamed music is not so concentrated.  ...

Which might be interpreted as "no matter how much you love making music don't quit your day job".  It might also explain why folks like Tom Petty would be willing to go to court over what they perceive to be infringement on their ideas.  If someone has that big a ratio of the revenue coming in from recorded music then would shifts in that revenue feel more seismic that high up the pyramid?


chris e said...

I can't help but feel that at least part of this was down to resisting digital sales entirely in the early years.

Of course internet access was going to get much better and therefore streaming would become much more viable.

If people had been hooked early on with relatively cheap high-quality downloads it's possible at least some of the haemorrhaging of sales could have been prevented.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

Some friends of mine who are audiophiles have avoided streaming and mp3 because too much of the quality had to be compromised in the process. Apparently you can lose reams of low end and mid-range in too much digital work. Then agan, no less than Alan Parsons said in an interview a few years ago that digital's great and just as good as analog "if" you have someone with a well-trained ear and the patience to get the job done right. Parson's complaint was not enough people have done that work to nail it down for digital yet, doesn't mean it won't happen.

I've avoided downloadable music for a long time but with historic re-issues of classical stuff coming out do I pick a relatively new and hugely expensive box set of Brahms' piano music or a re-issued digital download of stuff by Barenboim and others? For public domain/classical music downloads are a lot more affordable. It's just a bummer that digital download albums for contemporary chamber music skimp big time on publishing information. What if I hear a neat piece of chamber music for trumpet and guitar but can't figure out who published the work because these days nobody bothers to put the composer or publisher information in the iTunes format?

And more literally tangibly, I joked to a friend that a kindle book might be just fine in theory but you can't get Joan Didion's or Bruce Campbell's autographs on them.