3 Things Every Indie Artist Should Learn From Nielsen's 2014 Music Industry Report
This article originally appeared on Performer Magazine.
You've heard it from everyone from Bob Lefsetz to David Byrne: the music industry is dying.
At first glance, Nieslen's annual music industry report seems to back up this sentiment. The report, a summary of the data the company compiled on US music consumption over the past year, finds the major development for the industry has been the dramatic increase in on-demand streamingin the face of a precipitous decline in physical sales. In addition, total music consumption (purchases and streams) dipped slightly in 2014, but the report points to the overall expansion of music engagement online and the growth of vinyl LP sales as encouraging trends.
It comes as a surprise to no one to say that the music industry is in a state of flux. New technologies have upended nearly every way we've been conditioned to act as consumers, and no industry has been more affected than the music business.
Independent musicians are now left to navigate this brave new world on their own – but this isn't necessarily a bad thing. As the old guard of the music biz has been eviscerated, working musicians have in many ways been freed to take control of their own careers; a close look into Nielsen's report reveals emerging opportunities for artists hoping to cut out the middlemen.
Here are the major findings of the report and what they mean for independent musicians. [...]