Really interesting piece of analysis by The Times Lab on the changing landscape of revenue in the music business (in the UK) between artists and the industry.
A few things jumped out at me:
1. It's the graph the music industry doesn't want you to see. It shows how artist revenues have actually increased in the era of file sharing while the revenue going to the industry has decreased. So, if you're business model is purely one of content distribution it's perhaps time to exit.
2. The fastest growing area of revenue is that of live shows. As the post points out, "at some point next year revenues from gigs payable to artists will for the first time overtake revenues accrued by labels from sales of recorded music". Not sure if this is a case of more people going to shows, more shows occurring or more profitable deals for artists, but it does suggest to me that this is perhaps evidence of the fact that we tend to enjoy doing stuff together. Perhaps music is the ultimate social good, rather than the private good record labels would like it to be.
3. Arguably, the last century of recorded music has been an anomaly in how we consume music and we're going back to how we have always enjoyed it - live and together. The content distributed is perhaps really no more than a calling card and artifact of something far bigger and more powerful.