Dec 05

New research study: Piracy effects on media economics

A renowned research company called “House of Research” has recently published a new study regarding the piracy effects on media economics. The study has been supported by the “Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg”. The full research in German language can be accessed here:


The part on the music industry analyses the recording industry and its development since digitalisation has affected the revenues (since 1999).

In my article about the music industries’ development after the 1990s, I investigated the reasons for the decreasing music sales. More reasons were mentioned than the online piracy, but not only this research but also other researchers determined online piracy having a large impact on this development.

The research of this article criticises other studies, which pose that heavy users of music filesharing also buy more music, for example due to a “sampling effect” that consumers want to test music before they buy it. Illegal downloading is mainly done by young consumers, who traditionally are also more into purchasing music than older generations. So, this correlation of illegal downloading and music purchases is not solid. The research also compares the spending on music in 1999 and 2008. In the age groups of 20-29 years and 30-39 years, the spending decreased by more than 50 %. This argument also objects the positive correlation between illegal downloads and music purchases.

Another aspect, mentioned in this research, is the alleged reduction of illegal downloads in the last years. This is objected by this research due to increasing illegal album downloads, which results in a higher amount of illegal downloads.

One comparison here is the result of how the music sales revenues would have been developed according the GDP in Germany: According to that, the music sales revenues would account for 3.116 Million €. The reality displays 1.669 Million €, which is approximately half of the GDP-connected amount. A 1-to-1 equation between music sales and the GDP might not be realistic, because in tough economic times, the spending on entertainment and luxurious goods is less important to consumers than in boom times. Even when the GDP in Germany didn’t face a large recession according to the statistic in the study, the bubble crash and financian crash in the 2000s had its impact on the consumption behaviour.

In my music history article, I also mention the changed format preferences, which are also displayed and discussed in this study, albeit objected as “the” reason for the declining music revenues, because the decline started before the unbundling in the download shops took place.

One more interesting aspect is the statistics about the employees in the recording industry, which diminished by 38 % in 11 years (1999: 13.000; 2010: 8.099). This probably doesn’t include the number of artists who needed to start other “day-time” jobs, because they can’t make a living from music only anymore.

This research study is without any doubt very interesting and evolves interesting facts. However, its focus concentrates on file sharing nearly being the only reason for the music sales crisis. I have investigated a couple of reasons for this crisis, which is backed up by many other researchers. The reality of reasons for the decline of music sales over the last 13 years might be a combination of following reasons:

  1. Music Piracy, illegal downloads
  2. Digitalisation in general
  3. Changed consumer behaviour
  4. Changed format preferences
  5. Ended CD replacement cycle
  6. Additional entertainment consumption options
  7. Changed music retail structure
  8. Changed economic situation

For details on these aspects, I recommend (again) my music history part III article. Here is again the link to the research mentioned above (in German language though): .




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Nov 29

Blog reactivated

For the last couple of weeks, the blog has been neglected due to duties of finalising the PhD degree. I apologise for this. But this now comes to an end and can announce that I’ll reactivate my blog.

Soon, I will share my thoughts and latest news around artist development, music industries, Dance music culture, etc. It is an interesting time that the music industries are facing currently. So, I will discuss some issues here soon, whenever appropriate.

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Nov 29

Music Industries History Part III: After the 1990s

The music industries, as they are known nowadays, derive from technologies to record music and play back recorded music. The figure below shows a summarising timeline with milestones of the music industries since the beginning of the 20th century.

Finally, here comes the third part of the music industries history triology. It is a quite long article, but I hope it is worth reading!

If you missed the first two parts, here are the links:

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Posted in Music History, Music Industries | 2 Comments
Jul 15

Sweden’s unique Music Market – 30,1 % growth in the first half of 2012

Originally, I wanted to provide the third part of my triology of the music history (see part 1 and part 2). But the latest news about Sweden’s music market made me write this article.

According to The LocalBillboard, Musikmarkt and Techdirt, the Swedish music market experienced a big up in the first half of 2012, due to Streaming Services like Spotify. Sweden’s music market made an incredible plus of 30,1 % in the first half of the year, with streaming being the most important income stream for the recording market. With this plus, the Swedish market is back on the income level of 2004 and if the development remains, Sweden will be back on the level of the “Golden 90s” in a few years. Great news for the Swedish music industry colleagues! Despite these positive news from Sweden, it must be questioned if this development can be adopted to other countries like USA, Germany or UK.

There has been a lot of discussion whether streaming is good for the music industry or bad. Advantages are that those who illegally downloaded music now have an easy and cheap consumption opportunity, which at least bring in some money to the industry and the artists. The latter is also a disadvantage that streaming licenses are not comparable to download payments. I had a lot of discussions about this topic over the last weeks and months with colleagues and friends.

Some welcome the new development and see big potential in streaming. Accounting that the small amount of licenses are paid each time when a song is played and estimating that songs are played many times in a consumer’s lifetime or by consumer’s who wouldn’t buy the song, streaming services can result in a large income stream. Especially those who previously didn’t buy music are a large group of potential customers to streaming services. Additionally, consumers may get to know more music with streaming services due to playlists, recommendations and social sharing of listener behaviour.

Some doubt that streaming will pay out as much as downloads do. Often, the problem of streaming cannibalising the download or CD market is mentioned (why buying a download, when you can stream it). The payments by streaming services are very little, so consumers need to listen to a song very often in order to be a substitute to a download in value. It might be questioned, if a consumer will ever listen to a song that many times to recoup the amount of a paid download or even CD. Additionally, how does streaming influence the perception of value of music? Any music becomes a good which is available everywhere at any time without particular payment.

It is difficult to evaluate how the market and the perception of music will evolve having these different opportunities to consume music. And in the context of this article topic, how other music market will evolve with the growing streaming market.


Posted in Media, Music Industries | 2 Comments
Jul 05

Music Industries History Part II: 1950 – 1990

The music industries, as they are known nowadays, derive from technologies to record music and play back recorded music. The figure below shows a summarising timeline with milestones of the music industries since the beginning of the 20th century.

Here is part II of the music industries history triology. This part provides information about the era 1950 – 1990. Click read more!

Read More »

Posted in Music History, Music Industries | 2 Comments
Jun 19

Music Industries History Part I: Before the 1950s

The music industries, as they are known nowadays, derive from technologies to record music and play back recorded music. The figure below shows a summarising timeline with milestones of the music industries since the beginning of the 20th century.

I will explore the history of the music industries in three parts, starting with the era before the 1950s in the first place.

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Posted in Music History, Music Industries | Tagged , | 2 Comments
May 10

Dance Music History – First electronic sounds, via Disco, House, Dance to current developments

For my PhD thesis, I have analysed Dance music history briefly, from the beginning of electronically produced sounds, via the early genres of Dance music (Disco, House, Techno, EBM), the boom in the 1990 and current developments. This article gives an overview of this genre history. Feel free to have a read!

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Feb 27

Definition of Music Genres – Purposes, Difficulties and Confusion

If you listen to Dance music, you are not just listening to Dance music, but you often need to refine, which genres (Dance, House, Techno, Trance, Breaks, Hardcore…) and subgenres (e.g. within Trance: Uplifting Trance, Progressive Trance, Vocal Trance, Psy-Trance, Hardtrance, …) you prefer to be able to orientate in the ocean of available music and scenes.

The appearance of new music genres is an ongoing, never-stopping process. New sub-, sub-sub-genres and fusion of (sub-)genres occur again and again, which can cause confusion. But why do new genres constantly come up? I have done some research in this topic, during my PhD studies, which I examine in this blog post. Click “read more” to see the full article:

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Feb 21

(German only) Loveparade Dokumentation: “An einem Tag… Todesfalle”

Kürzlich war das Thema der Loveparade Katastrophe wieder in den Medien aufgrund der Abwahl des Duisburger Oberbürgermeisters Adolf Sauerland.

Im Juli 2011 hatte das ZDF eine Dokumentation ausgestrahlt, die die Tragödie, meiner Meinung nach, sehr gut aufarbeitet. Damals starben 21 Menschen in der Massenpanik, über 500 wurden verletzt. Insgesamt wurden von der Staatsanwaltschaft Duisburg gegen 16 Personen Ermittlungen eingeleitet.

Die komplette Dokumentation ist in der ZDF Mediathek unter folgendem Link zu sehen:

Alternativ wurde die Doku auch bei Youtube hochgeladen. In der erweiterten Ansicht sind ebenfalls die Videos eingebettet:

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