In 1999, the music industry hit an all time high of being a $23.8 billion industry, and had been on a decline until a major low point in 2014 according to Digital Music News. In 2014, the industry had hit it's lowest point at $14.3 billion, nearly half of what it was in 1999. That year, I attended a seminar in Nashville to hear the CEO of Warner Bros. Nashville state that they went from 10,000 employees in 2004 to 4,000 employees in 2014. Since the music industry hit this low point in 2014, it has been on the rise as a reported $17.2 billion in 2017. From 2014 to now, the music industry made some changes to help reverse the decline, but how long can this increase last? Is it helping the musicians?
In 2006, Spotify was launched as a subscription streaming service. By 2017, digital music streaming is responsible for $5.6 billion of the the
music industry revenue according to Statistica. Streaming has become the most dominant way for consumers to listen to music at a 54% of global recorded music as stated by ifpi. While this has had a major impact on the music industry's revenue, the artists are reportedly making $0.006 to $0.0084 in payout by The Verge. Comparing this to CD sales of what is nearly obsolete these days, Bandzoogle records that an artist would make approximately 6.6% of album sales. That being said, at least the artists are making more than the $0 they make from illegal downloads.
In a previous article I wrote, I explained how concerts were becoming more and more expensive each year. The percentages and income artists
make from live performances vary too much to give a statistic as to how much attending concerts truly helps the artist, but it is a known fact that artists make a majority of their income from live performances and merchandise sales. According to Billboard, Live Nation went from $4.09 billion in 2008 to $10.4 billion in 2017. It is clear that the sales from live events have nearly doubled in that time.
The music industry is back on the rise, and that is fantastic for not only the artists, but for people aspiring for a career in music business. There is no way to predict what new technology will bring and how things could sway in the future years, but hopefully the music industry will keep being creative in its approach for these artists and for careers in music.