Music industry

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
The Sony Center at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin

The music industry consists of the companies and individuals that make money by creating and selling live music performances, sound recordings and music videos of songs and instrumental pieces. Among the many individuals and organizations that operate in the industry are: the songwriters and composers who create new music; the singers, musicians, conductors and bandleaders who perform the music; the companies and professionals who create and sell recorded music and/or sheet music (e.g., music publishers, producers, recording studios, engineers, record labels, retail and online music stores, performance rights organizations); and those that help organize and present live music performances (booking agents, promoters, music venues, road crew).

The industry also includes professionals who assist singers and musicians with their music careers (talent managers, artists and repertoire managers, business managers, entertainment lawyers); those who broadcast music (satellite, Internet radio stations, broadcast radio and TV stations); music journalists and music critics; music educators and teachers; musical instrument manufacturers; as well as many others.

The modern music industry emerged between the 1930s and 1950s, when records supplanted sheet music as the most important product in the music business. In the commercial world, people began referring to "the recording industry" as a loose synonym for "the music industry". In the 2000s, a majority of the music market is controlled by three major corporate labels: the French-owned Universal Music Group, the Japanese-owned Sony Music Entertainment,[1] and the US-owned Warner Music Group. Labels outside of these three major labels are referred to as independent labels. The largest portion of the live music market for concerts and tours is controlled by Live Nation, the largest promoter and music venue owner. Live Nation is a former subsidiary of iHeartMedia Inc, which is the largest owner of radio stations in the United States. Creative Artists Agency is a large talent management and booking company.

The music industry has undergone drastic changes since the advent of widespread digital distribution of music via the Internet, which includes both illegal file sharing of songs and legal music purchases. A conspicuous indicator of this is total music sales: since 2000, sales of recorded music have dropped off substantially[2][3] while live music has increased in importance.[4] The largest music retailer in the world is now digital: Apple Inc.'s online iTunes Store.[5]


Early history

Printed music in Europe:

A French Ars subtilior chanson from the late 1300s about love, entitled Belle, bonne, sage, by Baude Cordier. The music notation is unusual in that it is written in a heart shape, with red notes indicating rhythmic alterations.

Music publishing followed the evolution of printing technologies after the mid-15th century, when mechanical techniques for printing music were first developed. The earliest example, a set of liturgical chants, dates from about 1465, shortly after the Gutenberg Bible. Prior to this time, music had to be copied out by hand. This was a very labor-intensive and time-consuming process, so it was usually undertaken only by monks and priests seeking to preserve sacred music for the church. The few collections of secular music that are extant were commissioned and owned by wealthy noblemen. Examples include the Squarcialupi Codex of Italian Trecento music and the Chantilly Codex of French Ars subtilior music.

The pioneer of modern music printing was Ottaviano Petrucci (born in Fossombrone in 1466 – died in 1539 in Venice ), a printer and publisher who was able to secure a twenty-year monopoly on printed music in Venice during the 16th century. Venice was one of the major business and music centers during this period. His Harmonice Musices Odhecaton, a collection of chansons printed in 1501, is commonly misidentified as the first book of sheet music printed from movable type. Actually that distinction belongs to the Roman printer Ulrich Han's Missale Romanum of 1476. Nevertheless, Petrucci's later work was extraordinary for the complexity of his white mensural notation and the smallness of his font. He printed the first book of polyphony using movable type. He also published numerous works by the most highly regarded composers of the Renaissance, including Josquin des Prez and Antoine Brumel. He flourished by focusing on Flemish works, rather than Italian, as they were very popular throughout Europe during the Renaissance. His printing shop used the triple-impression method, in which a sheet of paper was pressed three times. The first impression was the staff lines, the second the words, and the third the notes. This method produced very clean results, although it was time-consuming and expensive.

Until the 18th century, the processes of formal composition and of the printing of music took place for the most part with the support of patronage from aristocracies and churches. In the mid-to-late 18th century, performers and composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart began to seek commercial opportunities to market their music and performances to the general public. After Mozart's death, his wife (Constanze Weber) continued the process of commercialization of his music through an unprecedented series of memorial concerts, selling his manuscripts, and collaborating with her second husband, Georg Nissen, on a biography of Mozart.[6]

An example of sheet music.

In the 19th century, sheet-music publishers dominated the music industry. In the United States, the music industry arose in tandem with the rise of black face minstrelsy. In the late part of the century the group of music publishers and songwriters which dominated popular music in the United States became known as Tin Pan Alley. The name originally referred to a specific place: West 28th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, and a plaque (see below) on the sidewalk on 28th Street between Broadway and Sixth commemorates it. The start of Tin Pan Alley is usually dated to about 1885, when a number of music publishers set up shop in the same district of Manhattan. The end of Tin Pan Alley is less clear cut. Some date it to the start of the Great Depression in the 1930s when the phonograph and radio supplanted sheet music as the driving force of American popular music, while others consider Tin Pan Alley to have continued into the 1950s when earlier styles of American popular music were upstaged by the rise of rock & roll.

Advent of recorded music

At the dawn of the early 20th century, the recording of sound began to function as a disruptive technology to the commercial interests publishing sheet music. During the sheet music era, if you wanted to hear popular new songs, you would buy the sheet music and play it at home. Commercially released phonograph records of musical performances starting in the late 1880s, and later the onset of widespread radio broadcasting starting in the 1920s, forever changed the way music was heard. Opera houses, concert halls, and clubs continued to produce music and perform live, but the power of radio allowed obscure bands to become popular on a nationwide and sometimes worldwide scale.

The "record industry" eventually replaced the sheet music publishers as the industry's largest force. A multitude of record labels came and went. Some note-worthy labels of the earlier decades include the Columbia Records, Crystalate, Decca Records, Edison Bell, The Gramophone Company, Invicta, Kalliope, Pathé, Victor Talking Machine Company and many others.[7]

Many record companies died out as quickly as they had formed, and by the end of the 1980s, the "Big 6" — EMI, CBS, BMG, PolyGram, WEA and MCA — dominated the industry. Sony bought CBS Records in 1987 and changed its name to Sony Music in 1991. In mid-1998, PolyGram merged into the Universal Music Group (formerly MCA). Since then, Sony and BMG merged in 2004,[8] and Universal took over the majority of EMI's recorded music interests in 2012.[9] EMI Music Publishing, also once part of the now defunct British conglomerate, is now co-owned by Sony as a subsidiary of Sony/ATV Music Publishing.[10]

Genre-wise, music entrepreneurs expanded their industry models into areas like folk music, in which composition and performance had continued for centuries on an ad hoc self-supporting basis. Forming an independent record label, or "indie" label, or signing to such a label continues to be a popular choice for up-and-coming musicians, especially in genres like hardcore punk, despite the fact that indies cannot offer the same financial backing of major labels.

Rise of digital distribution

In the first decade of the twenty first century, digitally downloaded and streamed music, much of it illegally downloaded or streamed, at least at first, became more popular than physical recordings (e.g. CDs, tapes). This gave consumers almost "frictionless" access to a wider variety of music than ever before. At the same time, consumers spent less money on recorded music (both physically and digitally distributed) than they had in the 1990s.[11] Total revenues in the U.S. dropped by half, from a high of $14.6 billion in 1999 to $6.3 billion in 2009, according to Forrester Research.[3] Worldwide revenues for CDs, vinyl, cassettes and digital downloads fell from $36.9 billion in 2000 [12] to $15.9 billion in 2010[13] according to IFPI. The Economist and The New York Times report that the downward trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future[14][15] This dramatic decline in revenue has caused large-scale layoffs inside the industry, driven retailers (such as Tower Records) out of business and forced record companies, record producers, studios, recording engineers and musicians to seek new business models.[16]

In response to the rise of widespread illegal file sharing of digital music recordings, the record industry took aggressive legal action. In 2001 it succeeded in shutting down the popular music site Napster, and threatened legal action against thousands of individuals who participated.[16] However, this failed to slow the decline in revenue and proved a public-relations disaster.[16] Some academic studies have even suggested that downloads did not cause the decline.[17] The 2008 British Music Rights survey[18] showed that 80% of people in Britain wanted a legal P2P service, however only half of the respondents thought that the music's creators should be paid. The survey was consistent with the results of earlier research conducted in the United States, upon which the Open Music Model was based.[19]

Legal digital downloads became widely available with the debut of the iTunes Store in 2003. The popularity of internet music distribution has increased and by 2012 digital music sales topped physical sales of music.[20] Atlantic Records reports that digital sales have surpassed physical sales.[14] However, as The Economist reports, "paid digital downloads grew rapidly, but did not begin to make up for the loss of revenue from CDs."[15]

After 2010, services such as Deezer, Pandora, Spotify, and Apple’s iTunes Radio began subscription-based “pay to stream” services. These services began to have a serious impact on the industry in 2014, lowering revenues still further.

The turmoil in the recorded music industry altered the twentieth-century balance between artists, record companies, promoters, retail music-stores and the consumer. As of 2010, big-box stores such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy sell more records than music-only stores, which have ceased to function as a major player in the industry. Recording artists now rely on live performance and merchandise sales (T-shirts, sweatshirts, etc.) for the majority of their income, which in turn has made them more dependent on music promoters like Live Nation (which dominates tour promotion and owns a large number of music venues).[4] In order to benefit from all of an artist's income streams, record companies increasingly rely on the "360 deal", a new business-relationship pioneered by Robbie Williams and EMI in 2007.[21] At the other extreme, record companies can offer a simple manufacturing and distribution deal, which gives a higher percentage to the artist, but does not cover the expense of marketing and promotion.

Companies like Kickstarter help independent musicians produce their albums through fans funding bands they want to listen to.[22] Many newer artists no longer see a record deal as an integral part of their business plan at all. Inexpensive recording hardware and software made it possible to record reasonable quality music on a laptop in a bedroom and distribute it over the internet to a worldwide audience.[23] This, in turn, caused problems for recording studios, record producers and audio engineers: the Los Angeles Times reports that as many as half of the recording facilities in that city have failed.[24] Changes in the music industry have given consumers access to a wider variety of music than ever before, at a price that gradually approaches zero.[16] However, consumer spending on music-related software and hardware increased dramatically over the last decade, providing a valuable new income-stream for technology companies such as Apple Inc. and Pandora Radio.

Business structure

The music industry is a complex system of many different organizations, firms and individuals and has undergone dramatic changes in the 21st century. This is known as disintermediation. However, the majority of the participants in the music industry still fulfill their traditional roles, which are described below.[25]

There are three types of property that are created and sold by the recording industry: compositions, recordings and media (such as CDs or MP3s). There may be many recordings of a single composition and a single recording will typically be distributed into many media.


Songs and other musical compositions are created by songwriters or composers and are originally owned by the composer, although they may be sold. For example, in the case of work for hire, the composition is owned immediately by another party. Traditionally, the copyright owner licenses or "assigns" some of their rights (e.g. distribution and sales) to publishing companies, by means of a publishing contract. The publishing company (or a collection society operating on behalf of many such publishers, songwriters and composers) collects fees (known as "publishing royalties") when the composition is used. A portion of the royalties are paid by the publishing company to the copyright owner, depending on the terms of the contract. Sheet music provides an income stream that is paid exclusively to the composers and their publishing company. Typically (although not universally), the publishing company will provide the owner with an advance against future earnings when the publishing contract is signed. A publishing company will also promote the compositions, such as by acquiring song "placements" on television or in films.


Recordings are created by recording artists, often with the assistance of record producers and audio engineers. They were traditionally made in recording studios (who are paid a daily or hourly rate) in a recording session. In the 21st century, advances in recording technology have allowed many producers and artists to create "home studios", bypassing the traditional role of the recording studio. The record producer oversees all aspects of the recording, making many of the logistic, financial and artistic decisions in cooperation with the artist. Audio engineers (including recording, mixing and mastering engineers) are responsible for the audio quality of the recording. A recording session may also require the services of an arranger, studio musicians, session musicians, vocal coaches, or even ghostwriter to help with the lyrics.

Recordings are (traditionally) owned by record companies. A recording contract specifies the business relationship between a recording artist and the record company. In a traditional contract, the company provides an advance to the artist who agrees to record music that will be owned by the company. The A&R department of a record company is responsible for finding new talent and overseeing the recording process. The company pays for the recording costs and the cost of promoting and marketing the record. For physical media (such as CDs), the company also pays to manufacture and distribute the physical recordings. Smaller record companies (known as "indies") will form business relationships with other companies to handle many of these tasks. The record company pays the recording artist a portion of the income from the sale of the recordings, generally known as a mechanical royalty. (This is distinct from the publishing royalty, described above.) This portion is similar to a percentage, but may be limited or expanded by a number of factors (such as free goods, recoupable expenses, bonuses, etc.) that are specified by the record contract. Session musicians and orchestra members (as well as a few recording artists in special markets) are under contract to provide work for hire; they're typically only paid one-time fees or regular wages for their services, rather than royalties.


Physical media (such as CDs) are sold by music retailers and are owned by the consumer. A music distributor delivers the physical media from the manufacturer to the retailer and maintains relationships with retailers and record companies. The music retailer pays the distributor, who in turn pays the record company for the recordings. The record company pays mechanical royalties to the publisher, composer, and songwriter via a collection society. The record company then pays royalties, if contractually obligated, to the recording artist.

In the case of digital downloads or streams, there is no physical media other than the consumer's hard drive. The distributor is optional in this situation; large online shops may pay the labels directly, but digital distributors do exist to service vendors large and small. When purchasing digital downloads, the consumer may be required to agree to record company and vendor licensing terms beyond those which are inherent in copyright; for example, some may allow freely sharing the recording, but others may restrict the user to storing the music on a specific number of hard drives.

Other uses of recorded music and compositions

When a recording is broadcast (either on radio or by a background music service such as Muzak), performance rights organisations (such as the ASCAP and BMI in the US, SOCAN in Canada, or MCPS and PRS in the UK), collect a third type of royalty known as a performance royalty, which is paid to songwriters, composers and recording artists. This royalty is typically much smaller than publishing or mechanical royalties. When recordings are used in television and film, the composer and their publishing company are typically paid through a synchronization license. In the 2000s, online subscription services (such as Rhapsody) also provide an income stream directly to record companies, and through them, to artists, contracts permitting.

Live music

A promoter brings together a performing artist and a venue owner and arranges contracts. A booking agency represents the artist to promoters, makes deals and books performances. Consumers usually buy tickets either from the venue or from a ticket distribution service such as Ticketmaster. In the US, Live Nation is the dominant company in all of these roles: they own most of the large venues in the US, they are the largest promoter, and they own Ticketmaster.

Choices about where and when to tour are decided by the artist's management and the artist, sometimes in consultation with the record company. Record companies may provide tour support; they may finance a tour in the hopes that it will help promote the sale of recordings. However, in the 21st century, it has become more common to release recordings to promote tours, rather than book tours to promote records.

Successful artists will usually employ a road crew: a semi-permanent touring organization that travels with the artist. This is headed by a tour manager and provides stage lighting, live sound reinforcement, musical instrument tuning and maintenance, bodyguards and transportation. On large tours, the road crew may also include an accountant, stage manager, hairdressers, makeup artists, and catering. Local crews are typically hired to help move equipment on and off stage. On small tours, all of these jobs may be handled by just a few roadies, or by the musicians themselves.

Artist management, representation and staff

Artists may hire a number of people from other fields to assist them with their career. The artist manager oversees all aspects of an artist's career in exchange for a percentage of the artist's income. An entertainment lawyer assists them with the details of their contracts with record companies and other deals. A business manager handles financial transactions, taxes and bookkeeping. Unions, such as AFTRA in the U.S., provide health insurance and other services for musicians. A successful artist functions in the market as a brand and, as such, may derive income from many other streams, such as merchandise or internet-based services. These are typically overseen by the artist's manager and take the form of relationships between the artist and companies that specialize in these products.

Emerging business models

In addition to these traditional business relationships, new ways of doing business are being developed in the 2000s. Technology, such as music production software and the Internet has had an enormous impact on how music is created and distributed. In the 1970s and 1980s, if a pop or rock band wanted to make a recording, they had to go to a professional recording studio to have the recording made, and then get a record label to market and distribute physical copies of the LP, tape, or in the 1980s, the CD. During that same time period, if a contemporary classical composer wanted to have a score and musical parts for her new symphony prepared, she would have to go to a music publishing company which had the capability to prepare professional scores and parts. In the 2000s, a band can record an album using a USB mic and a high-end laptop with a digital recording software such as Garageband and then sell digital copies online through the band's website. In the 2000s, a symphony composer can prepare a professional-level score and parts herself using digital score-writing software such as Finale.

In the 2000s, traditional lines that once divided singers, instrumentalists, publishers, record companies, distributors, retail and consumer electronics have become blurred or erased. Artists act own their own publishing companies, artist management and may promote and market records on behalf of themselves or their clients, artists may choose to exclusively promote and market themselves using only free services such as YouTube or social media. Consumer electronics companies such as Sony, which once only made media players like the iconic 1980s-era cassette Walkman have become digital music retailers. New digital music distribution technologies have also forced both governments and the music industry to re-examine the definitions of intellectual property and the rights of all the parties involved. Also compounding the issue of defining copyright boundaries is the fact that the definition of "royalty" and "copyright" varies from country to country and region to region, which changes the terms of some of these business relationships.

Sales statistics

Digital album volume sales growth in 2014

According to IFPI,[26] the digital album volume sales growth in 2014.

Country Percentage
US +2.1%
UK -2.8%
France -3.4%
Global (est) +6.9%

Source: Nielsen SoundScan, Official Charts Company/BPI, GfK and IFPI estimate.


Circle frame.svg

World music market sales shares, according to IFPI (2005)

  EMI (13.4%)
  WMG (11.3%)
  Sony BMG (21.5%)
  UMG (25.5%)
  Independent (28.4%)

Prior to December 1998, the industry was dominated by the "Big Six": Sony Music and BMG had not yet merged, and PolyGram had not yet been absorbed into Universal Music Group. After the PolyGram-Universal merger, the 1998 market shares reflected a "Big Five", commanding 77.4% of the market, as follows, according to MEI World Report 2000:

  • Universal Music Group — 28.8%
  • Independent labels — 22.6%
  • Sony Music Entertainment — 21.1%
  • EMI — 14.1%
  • Warner Music Group — 13.4%

In 2004, the merger of Sony and BMG created the 'Big Four' at a time the global market was estimated at $30–40 billion.[27] Total annual unit sales (CDs, music videos, MP3s) in 2004 were 3 billion. Additionally, according to an IFPI report published in August 2005,[28] the big four accounted for 71.7% of retail music sales:

  • Independent labels—28.3%
  • Universal Music Group—25.5%
  • Sony Music Entertainment—21.5%
  • EMI Group—13.4%
  • Warner Music Group—11.3%

Circle frame.svg

US music market shares, according to Nielsen SoundScan (2011)

  EMI (9.62%)
  WMG (19.13%)
  SME (29.29%)
  UMG (29.85%)
  Independent (12.11%)

Nielson SoundScan in their 2011 report noted that the "big four" controlled about 88% of the market:[29]

After absorption of EMI by Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group in December 2011 the "big three" were created and on January 8, 2013 after the merger there were layoffs of forty workers from EMI. European regulators forced Universal Music to spin off EMI assets which became the Parlophone Label Group which was acquired by Warner Music Group.[30] Nielson SoundScan issued a report in 2012, noting that these labels controlled 88.5% of the market, and further noted:[31]

Note: the IFPI and Nielsen Soundscan use different methodologies, which makes their figures difficult to compare casually, and impossible to compare scientifically.[32]

Albums sales and market value

Total album sales have declined in the early 21st century, leading some music critics to declare the death of the album. (For instance, the only albums that went platinum in the US in 2014 were the soundtrack to the film Frozen and Taylor Swift's 1989, whereas several artists did in 2013.)[33][34] The following table shows album sales and market value in the world in 2014.

Music markets, with total retail value, and share of Physical, Digital records, 2014
Ranking Market Retail value
US $
 % Change Physical Digital Performance Rights Synchronization
1 United States 4,898.3 2.1% 26% 71% 0% 4%
2 Japan 2,627.9 -5.5% 78% 17% 3% 1%
3 Germany 1,404.8 1.9% 70% 22% 7% 1%
4 United Kingdom 1,334.6 -2.8% 41% 45% 12% 2%
5 France 842.8 -3.4% 57% 27% 13% 3%
6 Australia 376.1 -6.8% 32% 56% 9% 2%
7 Canada 342.5 - 11.3% 38% 53% 6% 2%
8 South Korea 265.8 19.2% 38% 58% 3% 1%
9 Brazil 246.5 2.0% 41% 37% 21% 1%
10 Italy 235.2 - 4.1% 51% 33% 13% 3%
11 Netherlands 204.8 2.1% 45% 38% 16 1%
12 Sweden 189.4 1.3% 15% 73% 10% 2%
13 Spain 181.1 15.2% 47% 35% 17% 1%
14 Mexico 130.3 -1.4% 41% 53% 4% 2%
15 Norway 119.9 0.1% 14% 72% 12% 2%
16 Austria 114.9 -2.7% 65% 22% 13% 1%
17 Belgium 111.2 -5.8% 49% 28% 22% 0%
18 Switzerland 108.2 -8.1% 52% 38% 9% 0%
19 China 105.2 5.6% 12% 87% 0% 1%
20 India 100.2 -10.1% 31% 58% 8% 3%

Source: IFPI 2014 annual report.[35]

Recorded music retail sales


In its June 30, 2000 annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Seagram reported that Universal Music Group made 40% of the worldwide classical music sales over the preceding year.[36]


Interim physical retail sales in 2005. All figures in millions.

Country info Units Value Change (%)
Ranking Country name Singles CD DVD Total Units $ (in USD) Local Currency Units Value
1 USA 14.7 300.5 11.6 326.8 4783.2 4783.2 −5.70% −5.30%
2 Japan 28.5 93.7 8.5 113.5 2258.2 239759 −6.90% −9.20%
3 UK 24.3 66.8 2.9 74.8 1248.5 666.7 −1.70% −4.00%
4 Germany 8.5 58.7 4.4 71 887.7 689.7 −7.70% −5.80%
5 France 11.5 47.3 4.5 56.9 861.1 669.1 7.50% −2.50%
6 Italy 0.5 14.7 0.7 17 278 216 −8.40% −12.30%
7 Canada 0.1 20.8 1.5 22.3 262.9 325 0.70% −4.60%
8 Australia 3.6 14.5 1.5 17.2 259.6 335.9 −22.90% −11.80%
9 India 10.9 55.3 239.6 11500 −19.20% −2.40%
10 Spain 1 17.5 1.1 19.1 231.6 180 −13.40% −15.70%
11 Netherlands 1.2 8.7 1.9 11.1 190.3 147.9 −31.30% −19.80%
12 Russia 25.5 0.1 42.7 187.9 5234.7 −9.40% 21.20%
13 Mexico 0.1 33.4 0.8 34.6 187.9 2082.3 44.00% 21.50%
14 Brazil 0.01 17.6 2.4 24 151.7 390.3 −20.40% −16.50%
15 Austria 0.6 4.5 0.2 5 120.5 93.6 −1.50% −9.60%
16 Switzerland ** 0.8 7.1 0.2 7.8 115.8 139.2 n/a n/a
17 Belgium 1.4 6.7 0.5 7.7 115.4 89.7 −13.80% −8.90%
18 Norway 0.3 4.5 0.1 4.8 103.4 655.6 −19.70% −10.40%
19 Sweden 0.6 6.6 0.2 7.2 98.5 701.1 −29.00% −20.30%
20 Denmark 0.1 4 0.1 4.2 73.1 423.5 3.70% −4.20%
Top 20 74.5 757.1 42.8 915.2 12378.7 −6.60% −6.30%


Approximately 21% of the gross CD revenue numbers in 2003 can be attributed to used CD sales.[citation needed] This number grew to approximately 27% in 2007.[citation needed] The growth is attributed to increasing on-line sales of used product by outlets such as, the growth of used music media is expected to continue to grow as the cost of digital downloads continues to rise.[citation needed]

The sale of used goods financially benefits the vendors and online marketplaces, but in the United States, the first-sale doctrine prevents copyright owners (record labels and publishers, generally) from "double dipping" through a levy on the sale of used music.


In mid-2011, the RIAA trumpeted a sales increase of 5% over 2010, stating that "there’s probably no one single reason" for the bump.[37]


The Nielsen Company & Billboard’s 2012 Industry Report shows overall music sales increased 3.1% over 2011. Digital sales caused this increase, with a Digital Album sales growth of 14.1% and Digital Track sales growth of 5.1%, whereas Physical Music sales decreased by 12.8% versus 2011. Despite the decrease, physical albums were still the dominant album format. Vinyl Record sales increased by 17.7% and Holiday Season Album sales decreased by 7,1%.[31]

Total revenue by year

Global trade revenue according to the IFPI.

Year Revenue Change Notes
2005 $20.7 billion -3% [38][39]
2006 $19.6 billion -5% [38]
2007 $18.8 billion -4% [40]
2008 $18.4 billion -8% [41]
2009 $17.4 billion -5% [42]
2010 $16.8 billion -8.4% [43]
2011 $16.2 billion -3% [43][44] (Includes sync revenues)
2012 $16.5 billion +0.3% [44]
2013 $15 billion -3.9% [45]
2014 $14.97 billion -0.4% [46]

Music industry by region

Music industry organizations

Music industry and transparency

In the 15 or so years of the Internet economy, the digital music industry has come a long way, but there are still major hurdles to cross. Platforms like iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play are major improvements over the early illegal file sharing days, but the multitude of service offerings and revenue models make it difficult to understand the true value of each and what they can deliver for musicians and music companies. These difficulties are further compounded by the fact that, according to a new study from the Berklee College of Music and its Rethink Music initiative, there are major transparency problems throughout the music industry caused by outdated technology. With the emerging of new business models as streaming platforms, and online services a large amount of data is processed. It now seems that Big data can be used to solve transparency issues in the industry. [47]

See also


  1. Sony Corporation announced October 1, 2008 that it had completed the acquisition of Bertelsmann’s 50% stake in Sony BMG, which was originally announced on August 5, 2008. Ref: "Sony's acquisition of Bertelsmann's 50% Stake in Sony BMG complete" (Press release). Sony Corporation of America.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "The Music Industry". The Economist. October 15, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Goldman, David (February 3, 2010). "Music's lost decade: Sales cut in half".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Seabrook, John (August 10, 2009). "The Price of the Ticket". The New Yorker. Annals of Entertainment: 34.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Mobile World Congress 2011". February 14, 2011. Amazon is now the world’s biggest book retailer. Apple, the world’s largest music retailer.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Dear Constanze The Guardian
  7. "Early Record Label History". Retrieved February 4, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Sony and BMG merger backed by EU", BBC News, July 19, 2004
  9. Mark Sweney "Universal's £1.2bn EMI takeover approved – with conditions",,
  10. "Sold! EMI Music Publishing to Consortium Led by Sony/ATV, Michael Jackson Estate for $2.2 Billion", The Hollywood Reporter, June 30, 2012
  11. McCardle, Megan (May 2010). "The Freeloaders". The Atlantic. Retrieved December 10, 2010. industry revenues have been declining for the past 10 years<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "2000 Industry World Sales" (PDF). IFPI annual report. April 9, 2001. Retrieved July 18, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Smirke, Richard (March 30, 2011). "IFPI 2011 Report: Global Recorded Music Sales Fall 8.4%; Eminem, Lady Gaga Top Int'l Sellers". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved July 18, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. 14.0 14.1 Arango, Tim (November 25, 2008). "Digital Sales Surpass CDs at Atlantic". The New York Times. Retrieved July 6, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. 15.0 15.1 "The music industry". The Economist. January 10, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Knopper, Steve (2009). Appetite for Self-Destruction: the Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age. Free Press. ISBN 1-4165-5215-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Borland, John (March 29, 2004). "Music sharing doesn't kill CD sales, study says". C Net. Retrieved July 6, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Andrew Orlowski. 80% want legal P2P - survey. The Register, 2008.
  19. Shuman Ghosemajumder. Advanced Peer-Based Technology Business Models. MIT Sloan School of Management, 2002.
  20. Segall, Laurie (January 5, 2012). "Digital music sales top physical sales". CNN. Retrieved April 24, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Rosso, Wayne (January 16, 2009). "Perspective: Recording industry should brace for more bad news". CNET. Retrieved 2009. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. Jefferson Graham (October 14, 2009). "Musicians ditch studios for tech such as GiO for Macs". U.S.A. Today.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Nathan Olivarez-Giles (October 13, 2009). "Recording studios are being left out of the mix". The Los Angeles Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. All of the information in this section can be found in:* Krasilovsky, M. William; Shemel, Sidney; Gross, John M.; Feinstein, Jonathan (2007), This Business of Music (10th ed.), Billboard Books, ISBN 0-8230-7729-2<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "Digital Music Report 2014" (PDF). p. 9. Retrieved June 7, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. According to the RIAA the world music market is estimated at $40 billion, but according to IFPI (2004) it is estimated at $32 billion.
  28. "IFPI releases definitive statistics on global market for recorded music". August 2, 2005. Retrieved September 17, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. “The Nielsen Company & Billboard’s 2011 Music Industry Report,” Business Wire (January 5, 2012 08:05 AM Eastern Daylight Time)
  30. Tom Pakinkis, "EMI lay-offs reported in the US," Music Week (Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 2:21PM)
  31. 31.0 31.1 “The Nielsen Company & Billboard’s 2012 Music Industry Report,” Business Wire (January 4, 2013 07:12 AM Eastern Daylight Time)
  32. "Digital Music Futures and the Independent Music Industry", Clicknoise, February 1, 2007.
  33. McIntyre, Hugh (October 16, 2014). "Not One Artist's Album Has Gone Platinum In 2014". Forbes. Forbes, Inc.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. Sanders, Sam. "Taylor Swift, Platinum Party of One". NPR.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  35. "RIAJ Yearbook 2015: IFPI 2013, 2014. Global Sales of Recorded Music" (PDF). Recording Industry Association of Japan. p. 24. Retrieved June 7, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  36. BUSINESS AND PROPERTIES The Seagram Company Ltd.
  37. "Midyear Digital Music Milestones". July 11, 2011. Retrieved October 18, 2012. There's probably no one single reason, but we’d like to think that enhanced marketing efforts – like the sale of music at nontraditional outlets – and anti-piracy successes like the closure of LimeWire have helped.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  38. 38.0 38.1 Downloads fail to stem fall in global music sales The Guardian
  39. Press Release: "Digital Formats continue to drive the Global Music Market," IFPI (London, March 31, 2006).
  40. IFPI reveals 2007 recorded music revenues decline Music Ally
  41. Global music sales down 8 percent in 2008: IFPI Reuters
  42. IFPI 2011 Report: Global Recorded Music Sales Fall 8.4% Billboard
  43. 43.0 43.1 IFPI 2012 Report: Global Music Revenue Down 3% Billboard
  44. 44.0 44.1 IFPI Digital Music Report 2013: Global Recorded Music Revenues Climb for First Time Since 1999 Billboard
  45. IFPI Digital Music Report 2014: Global Recorded Music Revenues Down 4% Billboard
  46. Richard Smirke (April 14, 2015). "Global Record Business Dips Slightly, U.S. Ticks Upwards In IFPI's 2015 Report". Retrieved April 20, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Krasilovsky, M. William; Shemel, Sidney; Gross, John M.; Feinstein, Jonathan (2007), This Business of Music (10th ed.), Billboard Books, ISBN 0-8230-7729-2<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

  • Lebrecht, Norman: When the Music Stops: Managers, Maestros and the Corporate Murder of Classical Music, Simon & Schuster 1996
  • Imhorst, Christian: The ‘Lost Generation’ of the Music Industry, published under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License 2004
  • Gerd Leonhard: Music Like Water – the inevitable music ecosystem
  • The Methods Reporter: Music Industry Misses Mark with Wrongful Suits
  • Music CD Industry – a mid-2000 overview put together by Duke University undergraduate students
  • d’Angelo, Mario: Does globalisation mean ineluctable concentration ? in The Music Industry in the New Economy, Report of the Asia-Europe Seminar, Lyon, Oct. 25–28, 2001, IEP de Lyon/Asia-Europe Foundation/Eurical, Editors Roche F., Marcq B., Colomé D., 2002, pp. 53–54.
  • d'Angelo, Mario: Perspectives of the Management of Musical Institutions in Europe, OMF, Musical Activities and Institutions Sery, ParisIV-Sorbonne University, Ed. Musicales Aug. Zurfluh, Bourg-la-Reine, 2006.
  • Hill, Dave: Designer Boys and Material Girls: Manufacturing the [19]80s Pop Dream. Poole, Eng.: Blandford Press, 1986. ISBN 0-7137-1857-9
  • Rachlin, Harvey. The Encyclopedia of the Music Business. First ed. New York: Harper & Row, 1981. xix, 524 p. ISBN 0-06-014913-2
  • The supply of recorded music: A report on the supply in the UK of prerecorded compact discs, vinyl discs and tapes containing music. Competition Commission, 1994.
  • Tschmuck, Peter: Creativity and Innovation in the Music Industry, Springer 2006.
  • Ulrich Dolata: The Music Industry and the Internet. A Decade of Disruptive and Uncontrolled Sectoral Change. Research Contributions to Organizational Sociology and Innovation Studies. Discussion Paper 2011-02. full text online

External links