Besides the survey responses (which have been so incredibly enlightening -- thanks ya'll!), this thread has contained some general discussion about music-related topics, so I thought it would be okay to dump this here. I was gonna make a new thread for it but then changed my mind. *shrugs*
Music Industry Myth-busting, or, The Day the Music Died ... for reals
I'm a bit of a music nerd and have had one or two interesting conversations with others at Elliquiy about the state of the music industry. No beating around the bush here -- my take is extremely negative; as far as I'm concerned, rock and roll died in November
of 2005, although it's death throes started long
. I don't expect anybody to see that exactly like I do; it's a highly subjective (although well-considered) personal opinion.
What's far less debatable, however, and widely misunderstood, is the cultural and financial freefall that the music industry has been in for about a decade. Many people don't even believe this has happened, because they hear all the media hype about new technology and assume that musicians are cashing in on it. That's a total misconception, so far at least.
Anyway, recently I stumbled across by far the single best link I've ever seen to concisely demonstrate the industry's decline, so I wanted to share that for others who might find it interesting:"Music's New Math: Pop's old metrics don't matter,"
from New York
Magazine, of all places.
It's short and has lots of pictures and snazzy charts and stuff. :) Also the article mentions several recent developments that are quite astonishing (the biggie: that catalog album sales finally eclipsed new album sales in 2012, for the first time ever).
For any inquisitive link-lovers, here's some more for ya:"How Much Does a Professional Musician Make in 2012?"
by Tom Hawking at Flavorwire
(the Grizzly Bear piece from New York
is well worth reading too, but it's relatively long);"Putting Common Assumptions About How Musicians Make Money to the Truthiness Test"
from Kristin Thomson at the Future of Music Coalition;
and -- if you've really got some time on your hands and want to get down and dirty with the numbers --"Mythbusting: Data Driven Answers to Four Common Assumptions About How Musicians Make Money,"
The takeaway from those three links is that the majority of pro musicians -- including people you wouldn't expect, famous bands selling hundreds of thousands of albums -- are solidly middle-class, even though the media makes most pop/rock musicians out to be rich. The FMC site is a real treasure trove of music industry data I've never seen before or never seen in one place.
It's not all bad news, and honestly, I learned that there are lots more musicians doing well these days than I previously imagined ... but that's partly because my assumptions were so
I'm of the opinion that major media outlets have given the public the impression that the music industry isn't doing too badly. I find it worrisome that the same corporations that own most of those media companies also own all the remaining major music labels (last I heard at least, it changes so fast) and either own or have close partnerships with the big companies manufacturing gadgets that play music.
Comments, discussion, polite debate are all welcome. :) Or more survey responses, if anybody wants to ....