Sales are up. Independent musicians are selling more than ever before. Why?
I have a problem with questions that start by assuming that everything is going to hell.
It's like the old "have you stopped beating your wife?" question. Neither yes nor no will be correct, because the question assumes something wrong.
So first, I have to clear something up:
Sales are WAY up for the independents.
Independent musicians are doing better than ever before.
While the Eminem and Beyoncé sales fall, the independents are selling more than ever.
It's a wonderful spreading-out of sales. Less at the top, more at the bottom.
But the news only tells you about the falling sales of the majors, because those are the easier ones to track. So by only reporting the easy half of the story, they've got the story all wrong, which leads to people believing it, then making assumptions based on it.
Now, if you were to ask me, "Sales are up. Independent musicians are selling more than ever before. Why do you think that is?" - we could have a more accurate discussion.
But I can't answer, "Is file sharing killing music?" - because music is more alive and well than ever.
Derek Sivers, president, CD Baby, HostBaby