The Music Industry Has Only Declined 3% Since 2000, Research Shows…

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Recordings have dropped 41% since 2000, but according to just-released research from MiDIA, there’s almost as much money as before in the music industry.  “The contraction of recorded revenue has occurred at the exact same time that the live music sector has undergone a renaissance,” noted MiDIA researcher Mark Mulligan.  “The net effect, when coupled with publishing revenue holding its own and  the growth of albeit modest, merchandise revenue, is that the global music industry has largely held its own, contracting by just 3% between 2000 and 2013.

“Compare and contrast with the 41% decline in (retail) recorded music revenue over the same period.  Indeed it is the 60% growth in live revenue that has done most to offset the impact of declining music sales.”


This is all part of the upcoming MiDIA report, MIDiA report: The Superstar Artist Economy: Artist Income and the Top 1%.  More details here.

Written while listening to Mr. Black.

13 Responses

  1. bp

    it would be nice to see a study on how much revenue has changed for the average artist compared to the industry as a whole.

    • Versus

      Yes. Actually the situation for the median (income) artist would be even more enlightening.
      I bet he/she can’t afford health insurance.

  2. Buck

    It’s great to know that the industry hasn’t lost much in terms of revenue… What’s concerns me though is that the revenue hasn’t grown in proportion to the number of recordings and live acts who share in it. To the contrary, its just being split into smaller and smaller pieces. I would venture to guess that a good bit of the money still goes to legacy acts too. Let’s read between the lies here… what does this mean for newer artists?

  3. The Truth

    I am here to tell you that “growth” in live revenues is all in the Top 1%. This graphic is like pointing out that the GDP of this country is going up. That is all top-driven. For 99% of musicians the bottom fell out. Period.

  4. Anonymous

    Bottom line:

    Music sales dropped from $28bn in 1999 to $17bn in 2013. This means the recording industry had $11bn more to spend on talent development and production in 1999.

    Sure, live is doing well — but revenue is not channeled back into recordings for obvious reasons (zero sales).


    Tons of cover bands, no new acts.

    Why is that great?

    • Anonymous

      That’s a bit silly.

      So that entire 11 billion, which is revenue (strictly from sales), not profit, naturally goes to right to development???

      This is also talking about the entire music industry, not just labels that are signing and taking bands to market..with development ortherwise.

  5. David

    Adjusted for inflation or not?? I dare say I could find out by digging through the sources, but it shouldn’t be necessary. It is such a basic question that it should be clearly stated on the face of the report. Average annual inflation since 2000 has been over 2%, so if unadjusted revenue is constant, adjusted revenue would have declined by about a third.

    • David Cavan Fraser

      Yep there’s some common sense, I’m pretty sure it’s NOT adjusted for inflation. Which has been insane lately (look at the price of Gasoline)

  6. Tune Hunter

    Nothing rosy or optimistic int this flat chart!
    Ballpark for bar # one shows $57B (cd +live = agree) that is after inflation $78.5B – hefty decline in real money.

    2013 recording industry income at $15

    $56B, estimated from chart for current income, is distorted by extortion activity of old mega stars on Golden Generation! In ten years this hefty live injection will shrink drastically.

  7. Rudy Quiñones

    But maybe it’s my generational acuteness,
    that grew away from why Budwieser/Coors Light,
    is not the only beer at the bar when there are
    a bunch of different flavors and varieties.
    Decentralization is the new word for equalization.
    The Five headed dragon of the Apocalypse
    tried to fight Anarchy. Thought It got rid
    of Napster but It came back in the after life
    as Torrents. The truth is that the music business
    rips off

    • Rudy Quiñones

      (excuse the interruption, erroneous post)
      many people. It takes advantage of them
      pays almost nothing and then get rid of them.
      The economy is weak when only one percent
      just want to horde it and leave the rest to rot.
      Many people look up to these people and want
      to be like them. They would do anything
      to ride a jet, porche, lambo, hold a gun in
      there hand, run and ride all day, they would do anything.

  8. Versus

    This is no help to those who do not perform live or tour.