The Music Industry Is Finally Making Money on Streaming

Lucas Shaw:

"Retail spending on recorded music grew 8.1 percent to $3.4 billion in the first half of 2016, according to a draft midyear report from the Recording Industry Association of America that was obtained by Bloomberg News. That means the U.S. industry is on pace to expand for the second straight year -- the first back-to-back growth since 1998-1999."

That's pretty crazy, but looking at the chart (below), it's also crazy that the business is stabilizing around where it was in 1990. And even more interesting is that this is roughly double (or more) where the business was at in the 1970s -- what many would consider to be the heyday of recorded music. 

I remain confused as to why exactly we think a huge industry of people paying for music is the norm. This seems more like an anomaly. Certainly it is in the history of humanity. And the late 1990s/early 2000s seems like a total outlier during the CD boom. Thinking outside the box seems like a much better key when it comes to making money. And touring, of course.


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