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
    Rasmus, 15 Dec 2009 @ 6:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The report

    Or maybe the fact that the sales increase coincided with huge cuts in interest rates for housing-loan, means that many Swedish consumers, especially in big cities, suddenly found themselves with lots of more money to spend on music. Its common to have housing-loans with 1-3 months market adjusted interest rates in Sweden so interest rate changes has a very direct effect on consumer spending.

    And the 80% increase in digital is just what to expect when you look at the trend in buying patterns over several years.

    The report fails to look at those factors.

    From the data presented in the study you can only make two conclusion, which is:

    1. There is a rapid change in consumer spending away from recorded music towards live performance and the overall spending by consumers is mostly constant.

    2. Artists are getting a larger share of the revenue and recording companies less. Its unclear if the artists net income is rising but its very clear that this means more of the music industries revenue is in direct control by the artists themselves and not in the control of recording companies. This means a huge shift in power within the industry.

    Its a pity that that the authors don't focus on analyzing this very interesting fact, which they are the first to actually confirm with solid data, and instead spend a lot of the report repeating unverified claims made by the recording industry.

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