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Journal of the Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association

Volume 8, Number 1 (2008)

U.S. Music Industry Statistics: A Reappraisal

Peter Alhadeff
Berklee College of Music


Current methods of compiling music industry statistics need to be reconsidered in the light of the massive changes that have wrought havoc in the trade since 2001.This paper will focus on the annual U.S. aggregates of recorded music and live music. First, it is maintained that reporting of physical and digital recorded music sales by SoundScan in its annual reports, though buoyant, is misleading. Second, the widely recognized Billboard 200 Album Chart may no longer be the most relevant indicator of artists’ actual industry position on a weekly basis. Third, live music revenue is derived solely from concert tickets gross revenues. These reported annual concert revenues ignore, for instance, music played at weddings or other underreported performances — which alters results dramatically when factored into the equation.

Keywords: music industry statistics, Billboard charts, recorded music sales, live music revenue, ticket sales

Alhadeff, Peter. “U.S. Music Industry Statistics: A Reappraisal.” Journal of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association 8, no. 1 (2008): 13-27. https://doi.org/10.25101/8.1

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