UK Music Industry Economists Admit: Music Industry Getting Bigger, Not Smaller
from the about-time! dept
So consider me a bit surprised to see the following report (thanks Ian) out of the UK, from PRS's economists, Will Page and Chris Carey, where they try to look more closely at the real numbers and conclude that for all the whining and complaining, the UK music industry is actually growing (warning:pdf).
Let me repeat that: despite all of the whining and complaining about the state of the music industry, some of the music industry's own economists are admitting that the market is growing.
Not surprisingly, it found that retail product sales have declined, but the other parts of the industry have grown noticeably more than the decline in retail sales. This growth has come from a few sources. Live show attendance has increased more than retail sales have decreased. Consumers have actually spent more. On top of that, the business to business side of the industry (sponsorships, licensing, advertisements, etc.) has grown as well, opening up new and lucrative means of making money.
Admittedly, there are some facts that could potentially temper the results: including claims of the rather uneven distribution of live revenue (big acts get a lot, others perhaps not as much) and worries that without enough support for smaller acts they won't ever be able to get big enough to make that kind of revenue. So, the fear is that it's all just "legacy acts" that are touring and making money, rather than new acts being encouraged the to get big. This is a charge some others have raised in the past, and it certainly bears watching, though I believe, pretty strongly, that it's an issue that works itself out as various additional business models get developed.
Still, it's quite amazing to see that a music industry study (even one from a non-profit like PRS) actually admits that the overall industry is actually growing.