Music Business Journal: Music Companies Meet in New York

Nick Susi
April 28, 2011

On February 24, 2011, the 11th Annual Digital Music Forum East was held in New York City. The conference hosted a series of panels that assembled artist representatives, label executives, publishers, and technology companies to discuss the current issues regarding all aspects of the music industry.

New Research Data

The conference commenced with a research presentation that analyzed the current state of digital music, and how consumer behaviors and attitudes have been an influence. Eric Garland, CEO and founder of BigChampagne, and Russ Crupnick, president of NPD Entertainment, shared eye-opening statistics. Crupnick discussed how the music industry has catered to the consumer, slowing the increase of music prices, allowing more access to digital content, and offering more choices of services to use. Instead of expressing gratitude, "consumers are flipping us the bird," Crupnick explained. He continued by showing that the population of buying music fans has declined by 20 million.

Garland discussed that although YouTube is a viable alternative source for an artist to post content and earn potential income, few songs are able to amass millions of hits before the ad revenue starts to trickle in. The disproportionate income is the same for streaming as well—1,000 streams equals about $1 of revenue for an artist. Only 5 percent of U.S. consumers are using subscription services, and that includes free trial users. Is an artist's extreme effort to accrue thousands, even millions of hits worth the small payoff?

Read more about Digital Music Forum East in Berklee's Music Business Journal.