Music is a much smaller and less significant part of many people’s lives than 10-20 years ago. There is more competition for our attention and the value of music has declined precipitously. This graphic shows the rise of digital against physical music, and the overall impact of piracy, widespread distribution and digital media on the music industry. The sad story is that overall the music business is shrinking. That is a fact that we all have to face. The silver lining in all of this may be on the horizon, but it cannot come soon enough for me. We have to do something to reverse the trend.
No reversing this trend. It began with Napster, and nothing can stop it. As for the silver lining, it may not be found in the record corporations but in the artists themselves. One of its current forms, for example, is Macklemore, who, as Larry pointed out, has achieved unprecedented commercial success by means that are not conventional but consistent with the distribution technologies of his and our moment. The recording industry should fear him more than it fears people pirating music on the web. It is wise to always fear producers more than consumers.