Do you have any stats or other concrete evidence of this? I have my doubts. I think music is
"background noise" to a growing number of people, something heard in snippets in commercials or
behind a shopping cart. I see a lot of people with earbuds in the gym, but when I ask what they're
listening to, it's a lot of podcasts and audiobooks, which surprised me. Same on the commuter train.
FM radio dial in metro NY offers more talk stations and fewer music stations than when I was a kid,
and almost no music on the AM dial anymore. Music is all over YouTube, and we talk about it here,
but the most popular stuff for "regular" people who aren't sound-obsessed is either obscene or silly
(cat chases dog up tree, etc). With more entertainment options, and attention spans being destroyed
by devices, I think the act of sitting still and listening to music is becoming quaint and
antiquated for large numbers of people. I'm happy to be a dinosaur, to quote a previous post, but
it's good to be a self-aware dinosaur and understand that numbers don't lie.
To address Randy's question -- the actual numbers of CDs sold has plummetted in this decade. Check
Soundscan and RIAA stats. Downloads were picking up the slack (at greatly reduced revenue numbers)
for a while, but now they are declining as streaming (which REALLY reduces revenue) has taken hold.
I like the convenience of Spotify and YouTube as much as the next guy, but there will come a time
where there will be no high-quality new content produced anymore because there will not be adequate
revenue streams to produce it. For fans of Amateur Hour in Siberia, this may be great news. For the
rest of us, not so much.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Aaron Levinson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2015 4:52 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Depressing stats for fans of recorded music and fans of physical product
> Not to put too fine a point on it but I think "music consumption" broadly speaking as distinct
> from income
> generated has actual risen quite a bit since 1996.
> Sent from my iPhone
>> On Apr 15, 2015, at 4:26 PM, Tom Fine <tflists@BEVERAGE-ke
>> DIGEST.COM> wrote:
>> Streaming, particularly YouTube and Spotify plus Apple and Amazon recently-launched streaming
>> services are counted in these stats as "digital" sales. What is not counted is illegal download
>> sites and other stealing, but I wonder exactly how much that amounts to these days. All of these
>> streaming services offer all you can hear or just about all you can hear with a free subscription
>> (generally ad-supported). So I doubt that too many people go to great lengths to steal MP3
>> downloads anymore.
>> The bottom line numbers suggest there is a serious decline in music retail spending. Some of it
>> has been due to the lower cost per song for streaming and some downloads, and some due to theft.
>> But, there's been nearly a 2/3 decline since 1996 while the population and GDP have risen
>> substantially. That simply equates to much less music retail per capita, ie less music
>> -- Tom Fine
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Hugh Paterson III" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2015 3:05 PM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Depressing stats for fans of recorded music and fans of physical product
>>> Without reading the original article, it seems that they are trying to put
>>> a metric on media consumption. In the 1990s/2000s I bought CD
>>> subscriptions, now I buy media streaming. So, it is like comparing apples
>>> and oranges, because some of the physical distribution before was about
>>> supplying the demand for the equivalent of "streaming". I go to YouTube to
>>> listen to music, when I want to hear a song I don't currently have on the
>>> device I have with me. I don't think society at large has stopped
>>> appreciating music, only that what we are paying for is not as trackable
>>> (by the same metrics).
>>> - Hugh
>>> On Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 10:59 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Reported in today's Wall Street Journal, with an equally depressing
>>>> 1. 1996 global music sales as reported by International Federation of the
>>>> Phonographic Industry: $40 billion.
>>>> 2. 2004 global music sales as reported by IFPI: $21 billion.
>>>> 3. 2015 global music sales as reported by IFPI: about $15 billion.
>>>> 3a. World population in 1996 was about 5.8 billion. In 2014, it was 7.2
>>>> billion (U.N. figures)
>>>> 3b. 1996-2014, global gross domestic product from about 40 trillion US
>>>> dollars to over 100 trillion US dollars (economywatch.com)
>>>> 4. In 2015, for the first time, downloads and streaming sales total was
>>>> higher than CDs and other physical media: $6.9b vs. $6.8b. (the remaining
>>>> $1.3 billion in sales came from radio airplay and songs licensed for movies
>>>> and video).
>>>> 5. Net-net, phyiscal media is now about 45% of total music sales, and
>>>> still losing ground. Streaming/subscription is the growth area. Downloads
>>>> are also sliding. The world of artwork, physical product and ownership of
>>>> one's purchased music is slipping away. Furthermore, recorded music appears
>>>> to be of declining value to an increasing world population with increased
>>>> spending power.