Interesting article from ArsTechnica Did file-sharing cause recording industry collapse? Economists say no. Researchers from LSE have looked at some of the claims about the negative effects of file sharing and the digital economy on the music industry, and found some of them just don’t wash.
One of the most interesting conclusions is that many of the figures conventionally given to show the demise of the industry don’t factor in musicians’ income from live work, which recently is for the first time greater than from sales of recordings.
So what is emerging is an increasingly “ephemeral” global music culture based not upon the purchasing of discrete physical packages of music, but on the discovery and subsequent promotion of musicians through file sharing. The big winner in this model is not the digital music file seller, but the touring band, whose music is easily discoverable on the ‘Net. As with so much of the rest of the emerging world economy, the shift is away from buying things and towards purchasing services—in this case tickets to concerts and related activities.