The Music Industry is Growing, Believe It Or Not!

Chris Anderson over at The Long Tail has compiled stats showing that the music industry as a whole is still growing!

Overall a lot has been happening in the music industry in the last few weeks, Radiohead, Madonna (leaving her label and signing with LiveNation), Prince, NIN, etc. The results of these have fueled great discussion about the industry and where it is headed.

Chris mentions it is a big mistake to equate the major labels and their plastic disc business with the industry as a whole, and when you stand back and look at all of music, things dont look so bad.

Stats are as follows:

  • Concerts and merchandise: UP (+4%)
  • Digital tracks: UP (+46%)
  • Ringtones: UP (+86% last year, but probably just single-digit percent this year)
  • Licensing for commercials, TV shows, movies and videogames: UP (Warner Music saw licensing grow by about $20 million over the past year)
  • Even vinyl singles (think DJs): UP (more than doubled in the UK)
  • And, if you include the iPod in the music industry, as I’d argue a fair-minded analysis would: UP, UP, UP! (+31% this year)

Only CDs are down (-18%). They’re around 60% of the industry not including the MP3 players, but just around 25% if you do include them.

So the problem with the music labels is not that music is an industry in decline, but that they have a too-narrow view of what business they’re in. Madonna’s switch from a label to a concert promoter should be a clue.

I am not too sure if I agree with Chris that portable music players should be part of the music industry, but  the remaining facts show the true story.

I see the entire industry moving close together and the majors are slowly losing market share and overall industry dominance. The huge majority of new releases are from the independents and I can see the industry becoming a lot more cut throat thus giving greater opportunities to unsigned and independent bands and labels to make a healthy living without losing huge royalties to the major labels.

eMusic Has Joined the Fray

It is now official the world’s largest retailer of independent music and the world’s second largest digital music retailer overall, with over 2 million tracks from more than 13,000 independent labels, has joined forces with RouteNote. Once RouteNote is launched all artists signed up will be able to opt-in to sell their music on eMusic. This is a great opportunity for our artists to distribute to a huge audience that loves to purchase all types of music.

eMusic is a subscription-based service that allows consumers to own, not rent their music, eMusic is the largest service to sell tracks in the popular MP3 format—the only digital music format that is compatible with all digital music devices, including the iPod®. eMusic targets and successfully direct-markets to consumers who are interested in music outside the commercial mainstream, dramatically expanding the sale of catalogue typically known as “the long tail.” Since Dimensional Associates acquired eMusic in 2003, the company has more than tripled its subscriber base.

Audio Lunchbox Sign with RouteNote

RouteNote has finally added another top level partner to its portfolio, Audio LunchBox.

ALB offers 2 ways to shop at ALB. You can purchase one of our subscription plans, or use our a la carte service and pay as you go. Our subscription programs allow you to get permanent, legal digital music downloads cheaper than anywhere else on the web.

ALB is cross-platform and entirely web-based. No need to download any extraneous applications or software to get our system to work. Just connect to the net and start searching the largest collection of independent music on the web.

Audio Lunchbox has just joined our elite list of founding partners, which also include:

If your an artist or independent record label make sure you subscribe and stay informed with the upcoming launch of RouteNote.

AOL with Upcoming Lyrics Offering

aol logo

A week after AOL sacked 2,000 out of its 10,000 employees, mainly to focus resources on their new advertising platform exploits, they have no mentioned offering a new lyrics product in conjunction with Gracenote. Gracenote is currently the leaders in providing music metadata and information. AOLs lyrical content will be threaded throughout a number of different sections, including AOL Music.