1 How Did You Contribute to the Music Industry's Sales Increase? | The Billfold

How Did You Contribute to the Music Industry’s Sales Increase?

Digital revenue comes in a variety of forms. Sales of downloaded singles and albums, from services like Apple’s iTunes, continue to grow. More promising for the industry, however, are subscription-based offerings, including Spotify, Rhapsody and Muve Music. The number of subscribers to services like these grew by 44 percent last year, to 20 million, the federation said.

Several new entrants are expected soon, including subscription services from Apple and Google, promising additional subscriber fees and licensing revenue for the record companies. Other sources of revenue, including royalties from musical performances and marketing uses of music, have also been growing.

For the first time since 1999, sales in the music industry are up. Did you help make this happen? Do you pay for a Spotify subscription? The last album I bought on iTunes was by Tegan and Sara a few weeks ago, and by The Lone Bellow before that. Adele was the number one seller, with 8.3 million albums sold (Taylor Swift and One Direction were also huge sellers).


17 Comments / Post A Comment

Master of None (#3,347)

I don’t usually buy a lot of music; I listen for free on Grooveshark or Spotify, or on public radio channels.

However, I did recently purchase the “Son of Rogues Gallery” compilation album by Hal Willner, because I love crazy sea chanteys and want to encourage new recordings of them. Also, it is obscure enough that I probably wouldn’t have been able to download it easily.

@Master of None wait there are albums of sea chanteys?? I need to investigate this.

OllyOlly (#669)

My boyfriend and I share a paid Spotify subscription (which is really cheap I guess??). I also usually ask for records as gifts and try to buy a few whenever I find myself listening to something a lot (still need to order Cat Power’s Sun).

I certainly spent more the past two years than when I was in college working at student radio with 1,000s of albums ripe for the easy download.

Supporting artists by buying albums is certainly something I think about and want to be better at.

ariskany_evan (#3,348)

I subscribe to Spotify, and take every album I listen to “offline”. I read somewhere that that means that artists get a larger royalty (maybe $0.009 vs $0.002?).

Also I sit at work and play my own albums on repeat with the sound muted. So far have made ~$60 in a good month. Doing everything I can to help the industry. :D

I bought a few of K-pop songs on iTunes at the insistence of my teenage sister, as well as a TON of vinyl. I now live within walking distance of several great record stores, and that’s dangerous! Mostly I bought used, which doesn’t count toward music sales I guess, but I also got last year’s Grimes and Grass Widow albums and a couple of re-issues on Mississippi Records.

@cuminafterall It’s a couple years old now but I just got Mississippi Records’ Last Kind Words 1926-1953 comp (MR-005 LP) and it’s so great.

pawnknee (#2,911)

I actually have been buying music more, because I’m finally in a position where I’m not super broke. I also want to support the artists I like, however I cut itunes out of the deal completely. I go directly to the label the artist is on to purchase their albums in the hopes that the artist and label get a bigger cut that way. An mp3 is an mp3, and with Apple peddling mostly pop crap that I don’t listen to, it’s just as much work to google a label as it is to search for the band in itunes. Spotify is also a given; I use that way more than I buy music, but it’s given me the ability to test drive bands so I can make an educated purchase. And now that I’m starting a vinyl collection, I will definitely be a heavy music purchaser once again. Geez I haven’t really bought music in earnest since high school!

r&rkd (#1,657)

Oh man, I still buy new CDs. The people at the record store look at me weird, and I feel like I am getting older.

kellyography (#250)

I don’t really listen to (and therefore buy) current artists. If I buy anything, it’s records from local or mid-size venue touring bands that I see live. I think the last mp3 I downloaded was maybe a year ago – TMBG’s Don’t Let’s Start, which was released in like 1987.

I’ve been buying a lot more from Amazon. They always seem to be offering deals. How can I say no to an album for less than $5?

MuffyStJohn (#280)

I didn’t.

Piracy or death.

faustbanana (#2,376)

I buy a lot of music, both physical and online, old (mostly) and new (some). I probably spent $600 or so on music in the past year. It was mostly on one extremely rare acetate of “Lick It Up” by Kiss, but who’s keeping track?

I don’t care to proselytize about the experience of buying and listening to a tangible album as opposed to an mp3, but I believe there are people out there who crave the non-digital experience and that their numbers are growing. Regarding free/illegal downloading specifically, I believe that artists deserve to be paid for their work and I only indulge in this when an album is out of print or otherwise unavailable.

Bill Fostex (#573)

@faustbanana My music purchases are approx. 70/30/0 vinyl/cassette/digital, with ~half of the cassettes coming from Goodwill/thrift and the rest from active labels. Cassettes: the most fun medium for music. Home recordings, old mix tapes, etc. So much weird stuff to be found out there.

faustbanana (#2,376)

@Bill Fostex Totally. I think all my “real” purchases were vinyl in the past year, but I still have boxes of old albums and mixes on cassette and I will take them to my grave (remind me to tell my family about that).

Bill Fostex (#573)

@faustbanana When grave-time comes, you should have someone unspool your cassettes and wrap you up in the tape like a mummy.

megadith (#273)

I was a pirating fool when I was in college, but now that I have some extra spending money I buy my music from iTunes or Amazon or directly from the artist’s site. I could never truly square the morality of pirating and it feels better to pay for it.

selenana (#673)

I don’t like to download music because I tend to listen to the indie side of the spectrum, and they really need my money. I also prefer physical albums to mp3s,and the last two I bought were Jens Lekman’s latest and my friend Matt the Electrician’s new one.

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