There has been a lot of buzz going around about the “dying” music industry.  In fact, the industry is doing much better than is commonly believed.  More people are interacting with music than any time in history.  We are seeing a record high in music purchases, and it is now easier for an artist to make money off of their music.  This is a little backward from the traditional model of record companies making money off of an artists work.  The music industry is not dying, it is undergoing quite a metamorphosis.

I hear that the music industry is dying on a weekly business.  I Usually just smile and change the subject.  The industry as it has been known for the past 60 years may be changing, but music sales are at an all-time high.  From 2006-2009 music sales have grown from 1 billion to 1.5 billion per year.  This figure doesn’t even include revenues from subscription services such as Spotify or Rhapsody!  Much of this success can be attributed to digital distribution.

Apple’s iTunes has reported a record $1.4 billion in sales for the most recent quarter in 2011. That is a 27% increase in just the last year.  Increasing accessibility of digital media devices are giving consumers more ways to get their music.  Music consumers can purchase tracks for their iPods and other mp3 players directly from iTunes.  For those audiophiles and collectors who would never dream of digitally purchasing an album, there is the convenience of Amazon.com, where physical copies of music may be purchased.

Technology seems to be quite a boon to the music industry.  This is not good news for everyone though.  Traditionally, the record labels have been the ones to really cash in on music sales.  Unless an artist was particularly versed in entertainment law, they could be taken advantage of.  The labels offered contracts that seemed like a good deal to the artist at the time.  The heyday for this business model  has passed.  Music is cheaper than it’s ever been.  No one needs to buy a full album to get the two or three songs that they really want.  Artists can now distribute their music online and completely cut out the middle man.  20 years ago, musicians needed a record label to cover costs for recording, promotion, and distribution.  Thanks to modern technology the artists can record complete records at home on a budget,  cut out the label completely, and put more money directly into his or her pockets.

The music industry is not dead!  It is becoming something wonderful for the independent artist.  There has never been a better time nor opportunity to be an independent artist.  Digital sales are booming, potential exposure through the internet is virtually limitless.  I for one am thrilled to see the artists who drive this industry making money over the business types who controlled it for so long.

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