With this weekend’s passing of Chuck Berry, it’s a good time to take a look at where the music industry is today. Record sales have been slumping for years as listeners either pirated music on the internet, or chose streaming services over album purchases for their listening.
But there are signs of green shoots in the music industry. E.J. Smith recently wrote about the surge in vinyl record sales being measured by the Recording Industry Association of America. And The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted a little known part of the music industry that is seeing a boost in activity, and could be the harbinger of a new revolution in the record business. Hannah Karp writes:
In the latest sign that the music industry is mounting a comeback, one of the most powerful men in the business is snapping up some of its least flashy assets: trade publications.
Music mogul Irving Azoff and a business partner, Tim Leiweke, recently purchased Venues Today, and are in talks to buy Pollstar, people familiar with the matter said. Both outlets cover the live-music business.
Rather than simply trying to pry readers or advertisers from the music industry’s biggest trade magazine, Billboard, the two men are primarily interested in using the magazines to break into the conference business, according to people familiar with the matter. To that end, they poached Billboard’s executive director of content and programming for touring and live entertainment, Ray Waddell, late last year to help run their own conferences and media. Mr. Waddell’s past duties included producing Billboard’s annual concert-business conference, a moneymaker for the magazine even in a tough advertising climate.
Read more here.
Here’s one more from the late, great Chuck Berry.