More Charts The Record Labels Don't Want You To See: Swedish Musicians Making More Money

from the artists-are-doing-better-than-ever dept

We've already discussed the research on the UK music industry that shows both that live revenue is more than making up the decline in recorded revenue and that musicians themselves are making more revenue than ever before. Some people have suggested that this is a UK-only phenomenon, but a worldwide study found the same thing as well. And, now it looks like the same is being found in Sweden as well -- home of The Pirate Bay, which we keep being told is destroying the industry. Swedish indie record label owner Martin sends in the news on data from the Swedish music industry, which looks quite similar to the UK data. First, it shows that while there was a tiny dip in overall revenue, it's back up to being close to it's high, mostly because of a big growth in live music:

Chart by Daniel Johansson

Basically, recorded revenues dropped. Collections stayed about the same, but live grew. More importantly, though, is the second chart, which shows the revenue for actual musicians. And that's going in one direction: up.

Chart by Daniel Johansson

And yet, The Pirate Bay is destroying the ability to make music, right? Funny that the numbers don't seem to support that at all. Basically, these charts are showing the same thing that those other studies have shown. More music is being created. There is greater "discovery" of new music. There are greater revenue opportunities for musicians, and the only part of the business that appears to be suffering is the part that involves selling plastic discs. Yes, that sucks if your business was based on selling plastic discs, but for those who can adapt and adjust, there is more money than ever before to be made. That sorta goes against the claims that "piracy" is somehow destroying the industry, doesn't it?

Filed Under: live, music, revenue, sweden


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  1. identicon
    Lobo Santo's Ugly :, 14 Dec 2009 @ 4:38pm

    Re: The report

    What I find really amazing in this report is the parts that Mike didn't bother to quote or mention. I like this one:

    Although there was a notable decline in live revenues during 2005 and 2006 for
    these specific companies, the over all trend correlates well with the STIM figures.
    The live business is a highly volatile business and these particular companies, when
    combined, clearly had a decline in revenues during those years. What is important
    though, is that the overall trend is in compliance with the STIM figures.
    This does not necessarily mean that all artists, big and those starting a career,
    have received more money for their live performances in the latest years. The
    Internet and the World Wide Web has created new ways for musicians and artists
    to promote and distribute their music, services like MySpace, YouTube, Last.fm
    and Facebook have made it possible for artists to gather an audience early in their
    carrier, but, it is still very difficult for small artists to make a living on live
    performances.
    The increase in live revenues has probably benefited mainly artists that already
    have a successful carrier as well as a substantial back catalogue of recorded music.
    One could argue that record labels have invested large amounts of money in
    creating these artist brands during many years, brands that live promoters now have
    the possibility to use when the end consumer tends to pay more for live
    performances than recorded music.


    Interesting! The report itself draws a similar conclusion to some of us, that the lower end still isn't making a living at it.

    Further, there are other quotes mentioning the signficant changes already in 2009 (music sales revenues up 18%, digital sales up 80%), which suggests that piracy had a very significant and clear negative impact on music sales. With the IPRED and other moves in Swedish law, suddenly people are paying for music again and recorded music revenue is way up.

    Mike, would you say that this is an indication that not only to people value music, but they are obviously willing to pay for it when they can no longer safely and easily download it for free?

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