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The Geeks Shall Inherit the Music Revenues

Musician Jonathan Coulton made over $500,000 last year by cutting out the middleman and selling his songs directly online. (The zombie ballad “re: Your Brains” is one of his classics.) The NPR Planet Money team featured a debate on whether Coulton’s success was a fluke, or presaged a new golden age for artists. Skeptics argued that Coulton’s goofy geek-pop was the Snuggie of music, unreplicable by other creators. Optimists opined that the sky is not falling for content creators, who could learn a thing or two from the fan-cruise and internet presence of the Coulton empire. I liked their hopeful views, though I wonder if revenues like Coulton’s were already accounted for in the Bain music revenue chart:

Will singer-songwriters like Coulton, or iTunes-inspired impresarios, capture the bulk of future music revenues? Only time will tell.

X-Posted: Concurring Opinions.

5 thoughts on “The Geeks Shall Inherit the Music Revenues”

  1. The chart itself is a broken link..(?)
    But I’m pretty sure more vinyl is being sold than there are cassettes, but the graph shows that they’re more or less the same: none.

  2. I thought the blue shading of the vinyl – just looked like it was slightly bigger in 2009 – I know in the UK there is some level of vinyl revival – just wonder if this is the case in the US?

  3. main diff. between vinyl and cd:

    when CD’s were new, people started buying not only new music, but the stuff they had on vinyl, thus the huge rise in sales.

    when mp3’s came, people could put their cd’s into their computer, and not have to buy new mp3’s of their old favorites.

    And when streaming came, not even that was necessary.

    I’d like to see the same graph, but with all the backlog-music removed.

  4. I guess my pre-recorded Minidisc collection did not make a blip in the graph in the ’90s 🙂 And lets not even talk about the digital tapes or DATs

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