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Stats on U.S. Digital Music Outcomes

Technology sucks the profit out of every business it touches. Michael DeGusta recently published an analysis of U.S. recorded music sales using data from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). He starts with a popular chart posted by mega-consultants Bain & Co. and fixes the numbers for inflation and population.

The corrected chart is titled The Real Death of the Music Industry:

Michael DeGusta's music revenue analysis by product.

Key findings:

  • The music industry is down 64% from its peak.
  • 10 years ago the average American spent almost 3 times as much on recorded music products as they do today.
  • 26 years ago they spent almost twice as much as they do today.

It’s not just piracy, the Digital Revolution has broken the artist-composed album into easy-to-buy one-off singles, he says: “Turns out that, somewhat unsurprisingly, the recording industry makes almost all their money from full-length albums.”

See the full analysis at

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