Feeds

Music spending stops defying recession (and gravity)

We've run out of wrinklies who can reform

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Despite a booming live concert and festival scene, consumer spending on music is down again, according to an economic analysis of "wallet share" - how much people actually fork out for the stuff.

Whether this is bad news or not as bad as it could be is a fascinating question.

According to Will Page, economist at the PRS (or as we must call it, PRSformusic), music spending defied the recession in 2008 and 2009, but dipped again last year. Overall music spending dipped from 0.38 per cent of total consumer spending in 1997 to 0.28 per cent last year. But the split between live and recorded purchases over this period was dramatic, and is best illustrated by this graph.

[Click for legend]

It's even more dramatic considering the time spent listening to recorded music in its many forms now – a proper analysis of which is long overdue.

Various factors have been proposed to explain the fall in recorded music spending. Supermarkets forced CD prices to fall; Apple and other digital services unbundled the CD, and consumers bought tracks they liked, rather than the full CD. But the risk-free acquisition of digital music without paying for it is hard to argue with, especially since live and recorded revenues previously had gone hand-in-hand, but have now diverged.

The overall wallet share fall in 2010 could be attributed to greedy promoters overmilking the market. Ticket prices have shot up, and bands play more dates than ever.

(Michael Jackson was booked in for 50 dates at the O2 Arena, before he died).

There are only so many festivals to go to. And there are only so many wrinkly old bands that can reform: a study in 2009 showed that it was the nostalgia circuit that benefitted the most from the live boom – snatching money from mid-level or new acts.

So back to the intriguing question: is this bad news, or could it have been worse? For music spending of any kind to grow in a recession must demonstrate the strength of the demand. Pay TV and gym memberships were cancelled when the credit crunch hit, but households still allocated money for music. That's a glass-half-full analysis. The pessimist (or realist) might respond that the music industry is unable to make much of this demand. Fifty-quid-a-week bloke has turned into 20-megabits-a-second bloke, who, while willing to pay, is spending his money elsewhere.

You can read the full paper here (six-page PDF/1.8 MB). ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.