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3 Things Every Indie Artist Should Learn From Nielsen's 2014 Music Industry Report

Hint: vinyl is popular. (Photo by Ben Sklar)

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 streaming in 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.

Spotify’s Mysterious Royalty System Explained

Image via indie-music.com. Images below via Spotify.

This article originally appeared on Performer Magazine.


Since its debut in the US in 2011, a lot has been written about Spotify and its effect on artists, labels, and the music industry at large. Many have derided the free streaming music service for its mysterious and seemingly stingy royalty system, while others have championed the easy exposure it can provide for DIY and independent bands. Some artists, including Thom Yorke, have spoken out against Spotify, and others such as The Black Keys have opted to prohibit some or all of their catalogue from being made available on the streaming music service. Meanwhile, artists like Moby seem to have accepted Spotify as a step in the process to the inevitable overhaul of the music industry.