Christian Engström, Pirat

22 september 2010

Artists Make More Money in File-Sharing Age Than Before It

Filed under: Copyright Reform,English,informationspolitik — Christian Engström @ 10:18

Record companies make less but artists make more in the file sharing age, a Norwegian study shows

This article is republished from Torrentfreak:

An extensive study into the effect of digitalization on the music industry in Norway has shed an interesting light on the position of artists today, compared to 1999. While the music industry often talks about artists being on the brink of bankruptcy due to illicit file-sharing, the study found that the number of artists as well as their average income has seen a major increase in the last decade.

Every other month a new study addressing the link between music piracy and music revenues surfaces, but only a few really stand out. One of the most elaborate and complete studies conducted in recent times is the master thesis of Norwegian School of Management students Anders Sørbo and Richard Bjerkøe.

In their thesis, the students take a detailed look at the different revenue streams of the music industry between 1999 and 2009. By doing so, they aim to answer the question of how the digitization of music – and the most common side-effect, piracy – have changed the economic position of the Norwegian music industry and Norwegian artists. The results are striking.

After crunching the music industry’s numbers the researchers found that total industry revenue grew from 1.4 billion Norwegian kronor in 1999 to 1.9 billion in 2009. After adjusting this figure for inflation this comes down to a 4% increase in revenues for the music industry in this time period. Admittedly, this is not much of a growth, but things get more interesting when the research zooms in on artist revenue.

In the same period when the overall revenues of the industry grew by only 4%, the revenue for artists alone more than doubled with an increase of 114%. After an inflation adjustment, artist revenue went up from 255 million in 1999 to 545 million kronor in 2009.

Some of the growth can be attributed to the fact that the number of artists increased by 28% in the same time period. However, per artist the yearly income still saw a 66% increase from 80,000 to 133,000 kronor between 1999 and 2009. In conclusion, one could say that artists are far better off now than they were before the digitization of music started.

Aside from looking at the reported revenue, the researchers also polled the artists themselves to find out what their income sources are. Here, it was found that record sales have never been a large part of the annual revenue of artists. In 1999, 70% of the artists made less than 9% of their total income from record sales, and in 2009 this went down to 50%.

Live performances are the major source of income for most artists. 37% of Norwegian artists made more than 50% of their income from live performances in 2009, up from 25% in 1999. That said, it has to be noted that only a few artists make a full living off their music, as most have other jobs aside.

In conclusion, the study refutes some of the most common misconceptions about the music industry in the digital age. Musicians are making more money than ever before. It is true that the revenues from record sales are dwindling, but that can be just as easily attributed to iTunes as The Pirate Bay.

The bottom line is that the music industry as a whole is thriving. Record labels may report a dip in their income from record sales, but more money is going to artists at the same time. Is that really such a bad outcome? Well, that depends on who you’re listening to.

Written by Ernesto on September 14, 2010. The article is licensed under Creative Commons CC-SA 2.0.

”Let’s get the facts and figures before we legislate,” I said in the debate on the Gallo report on intellectual property enforcement in the European Parliament the other day. This Norwegian study is an excellent example of the kind of serious research that could help untie the file sharing knot.

For the last decade, politicians throughout Europe have based their legislative proposals primarily on the fantasy figures produced by the film and record companies. The result has been legislation that is harmful, dangerous, and simply does not work.

It is time that we switch to a more fact based approach in the discussion about copyright in the Internet millennium.

…………

Download the Norwegian study (pdf)

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14 kommentarer

  1. Yet another studie that confirms the fact that file sharing is a pretty harmless digital revolution.

    Kommentar av expose the truth — 22 september 2010 @ 14:21

  2. [...] Läs mera här: Artists make more money in file-sharing age than before it [...]

    Pingback av MP kräver hårdare tag mot fildelare « Christian Engström, Pirate MEP — 22 september 2010 @ 14:39

  3. [...] [...]

    Pingback av Anonym — 22 september 2010 @ 15:22

  4. [...] Läs mera här: Artists make more money in file-sharing age than before it [...]

    Pingback av MP kräver hårdare tag mot fildelare | Piratkopiering — 22 september 2010 @ 19:46

  5. Norge kanske inte är det mest representativa landet, sen kan man ju undra om det handlar om mer pengar för spelningar på grund av att artisterna nu förtiden alltmer fakturerar från sina egna bolag. Vilket betyder att de kräver mer av arrangören men själv senare får betala sociala avgifter m.m.

    Kommentar av Harbishinger — 22 september 2010 @ 21:32

  6. Varfor skulle inte Norge vara en bra representant?

    Norge tror jag ar mycket bra i detta fallet, eftersom (tror jag av uppfattning, detta ar inte fakta) det verkar som de har mindre musikexport an i Sverige, och saledes skulle ”forlusten” vara mer kannbar i Norge angaende skivor vs spelningar.

    Kanske digitaliseringen har uppmuntrat norrman mer att skapa musik?

    Norge ar generellt ett mycket hogt ekonomiskt statusland, och vad galler moderna uttryck ar de nog lika bra som nagot annat att gora statistik pa. Naturligtvis hade det varit annu mer intressant att se stats for Storbritannien eller USA, men detta ar samtidigt en mycket serios studie, och de flesta du ser i UK/US ar i regel mer specialbestallda av musiklobbyn.

    Skulle tro att statsen for att kopa fysisk film eller ga pa bio ser ganska likadan ut.

    Kommentar av Gunnar P — 23 september 2010 @ 13:50

  7. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Piratbloggar, lillebrorsan, Richard Bjerkøe, Anders Sørbo, Elgin Blankwater and others. Elgin Blankwater said: Artists Make More Money in File-Sharing Age Than Before It http://tiny.cc/xfxku [...]

    Pingback av Tweets that mention Artists Make More Money in File-Sharing Age Than Before It « Christian Engström, Pirate MEP -- Topsy.com — 24 september 2010 @ 2:24

  8. I’d like to see the statistics on the older artists who don’t tour as much but do continue to release music for public consumption. Wouldn’t they experience a deeper cut in their revenues because they’re not doing as many live performances as when younger?

    Kommentar av Leonard — 27 september 2010 @ 17:06

  9. Tja, om inte Norge, Holland, England, Tyskland eller något av de andra europeiska länderna där man kommit fram till liknande resultat är ”representativa” för den Svenska musikmarknaden, vad är vi då jämförbara med?

    Kommentar av Scary Devil Monastery — 28 september 2010 @ 14:59

  10. Scary Devil Monastery, har du läst undersökningen? Finns mycket tvetydigheter i den angående statligt stöd och situationen för mindre artister. Lite tråkigt för er pirater är väl att artisterna fortfarande behöver både starkt statligt stöd och upphovsrättsersättningar för att inte svälta ihjäl.

    Kommentar av Jonas — 28 september 2010 @ 16:54

  11. Jonas:
    Tråkigt? Så var det innan också. Eller du menar att det var bättre då det bara fanns 10 artister som skivbolagen valde och dessa blev rika medan andra fanns helt enkelt inte? Idag kan vem som helst skapa musik, det räcker inte för att leva på det. T-shirts och live spelningar är vad artisterna tjänar pengar på idag, kopiorna av ljud i 3minuter är värdelösa. Det säger även de som är emot PP.

    Kommentar av asd — 5 oktober 2010 @ 22:17

  12. [...] Norsk studie [...]

    Pingback av Brott och straff | Nynarcissisten's Blog — 16 december 2010 @ 9:45

  13. No – artists do not make more money, that is compleatly wrong if you read the paper.
    The correct way of putting it is – more artists make money since more artist work more hours performing live.
    So Christians way of puting it is as usuall all wrong.

    Kommentar av Sten — 5 januari 2011 @ 15:51

  14. @ Sten

    Artists belong to the group of people who takes a bigger share of the total revenue, and since the total revenue hasn’t decreased (rather increased) during the 10 years period it’s reasonable safe to say that artists as a group make more money. This appears to be true for both the Norwegian and Swedish music industry.

    Kommentar av so — 5 januari 2011 @ 17:48


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