Another WashPost thinkpiece on state of music biz today

Another WashPost thinkpiece on state of music biz today


Here’s another piece from the Washington Post that goes in-depth into the recent evolution of the music business, with particular emphasis on the rise of streaming and the fall of actual sales, and how the bigger fish keep getting bigger rather than “anyone being able to be the next big thing” idea. Key stat: <1% of songs account for 86% of the listens. That is staggering.

I realize it’s behind the WaPo paywall, but they give you ten free articles per month-- make this one of them!


Ha, the 1% is what Occupy Wall Street was all about. :sweat_smile:


Another key stat: is $4b from air, and $3.2b from sync. That’s licensing and royalty revenue. That didn’t even count PPR and mech income!

This struck me as odd. Alan Krueger talking about the middle dropping out, and the rich getting richer. The middle he referred to must have been what I would still consider part of the top. The first thing that came to mind was that the enormous licensing revenues are not going to the artist. They’re going to the agents, publishers, and investors. And its important not to get the money trail backwards.

It doesn’t mean artists can’t make money. It means that if they want any of the money made, they need to know what’s going on.

Very interesting read.


Hey Dave @Chordwainer, (or anyone else), what audience do you think this article was actually written for?


I think it was aimed at the primary readership of the Post, which is young-ish professionals who are in fact music listeners. DC is home to a huge population of such folks working in and around (i.e. policy shops, lobbying firms, media etc) the federal government. I would speculate that it was aimed at educating such folks about just what goes in to making the music that they stream all day for next to no cost. The Post has over the years broadened its coverage into a lot more lifestyle type things-- as it had to, in order to survive. They still have absolutely top of the line “hard” reporting of course, and thank goodness they do.