Music industry revenue has fallen consistently since peaking in 1999. Some would like to claim that streaming music services are a cause of the decline even though they arrived well after the downward trend was established. However, there is ample evidence to suggest the industry revenue would have declined in the absence of streaming music services.
A report issued by the National Bureau of Economic Research last month concludes that, “interactive streaming appears to be revenue-neutral for the recorded music industry.” The summary conclusions by the report authors, Luis Aguiar and Joel Waldfogel, don’t fit the industry trends prior to the study period or the math behind the data.
A pair of recent articles in the New York Times and Music Business Worldwide focus on the story of Perrin Lamb, a part-time singer-songwriter from Nashville. Mr. Perrin was an unknown, unsigned artist before landing on a popular playlist on Spotify.