lfb.org / By Jeffrey Tucker /
What’s called the “music industry” — which really means the big players in recording and performance — just climbed over the mountain. Global sales rose last year for the first time since 1999. That’s 14 years of hell ending with just a glimmer of light on the horizon.
Still, everyone is celebrating the change. And the source is rather obvious. It’s the download services. It’s the aggregator services like Pandora and Spotify. It’s the new reach and new technology. It’s advertising. It’s… free enterprise.
Whaddya know, when an industry stops fighting change, denouncing and attempting to jail its customers, and instead embraces technology, things start looking up. It appears that music won’t die after all. The delivery systems just change. That’s nothing new. It was the same with every new medium in the last 100 years: panic, anger, fear, acceptance, and then finally enterprise.
The big players managed a growth rate of 0.3 percent for a total of $16.5 billion. That might sound pathetic compared to the $38 billion that they made 10 years ago. But some growth is better than the industry’s recent history. And by the way, all of this happened despite the incredible rise of pirate sites — thousands of them — that flourish despite the thumb screws and waterboarding tortures that government has used to shut them down.