The Washington Post published an excellent article on the new state of the music business with “The New Streaming World: How One Band is Trying to Make It in a Business Turned Upside Down.”
The article focuses on the up-and-coming band, The Orwells, who you likely never heard of but that’s sort of the point of the article.
If nothing else, here’s the key factoid to gleam: less than 1 percent of songs represent 86 percent of the music streamed, according to the market research company Nielsen. That means the remaining 99% of songs (and musicians) have to survive on 14% of what little income is left from selling recorded music.
Talk about wealth inequality, the music business is the canary in the coal mine for America, with a few winners and lots of losers.
This division of 86% vs. 14% closely resembles the 80/20 Pareto rule, which is also interesting.