The sky is rising

I’ve been meaning to post on this report for a while, called The Sky is Rising. Their intro:

For years now, the legacy entertainment industry has been predicting its own demise, claiming that the rise of technology, by enabling easy duplication and sharing — and thus infringement — is destroying their bottom line. If left unchecked, they say, it is not only they that will suffer, but also the content creators, who will be deprived of a means to make a living. And, with artists lacking an incentive to create, no more art will be produced, starving our culture. While it seems obvious to many that this could not possibly be true, since creators and performers of artistic content existed long before the gatekeepers ever did, we’ve looked into the numbers to get an honest picture of the state of things. What we found is that not only is the sky not falling, as some would have us believe, but it appears that we’re living through an incredible period of abundance and opportunity, with more people producing more content and more money being made than ever before. As it turns out… The Sky Is Rising!

Just as some in the industry said the VCR would be fatal to their industry.

Some data from the report:

  • From 1998 to 2010 the global entertainment industry grew from $449 billion to $745 billion
  • In the US the % of household spending on entertainment has gone from 4.9% in 2000 to 5.6% in 2008
  • Employment in US entertainment industry grew 20% from 1998 to 2008
  • The number of independent artists rose 43% in the last decade
  • The number of books available for sale has gone from 0.25m to 3.0m in last eight years
  • Song tracks for sale have gone from 11m to 100m
  • Films production has gone from 1,700 in 1995 to 7,000 in 2009
  • Global box office revenues up from $25.5b in 2006 to $31.8b in 2010
  • Music sales up from 687m in 2003 to 1,507m in 2010
  • Music industry revenue up from $132b in 2005 to $168b in 2010

And remember the last two to three years has seen a global recession, which makes these figures even more impressive.

The report is a superb read – not just for the stats, but the case studies of how people are making money through new business models, rather than the old gate keeper models.

This report should be required reading for the Commerce and ICT Ministers. It shows the Internet is not the enemy of the entertainment industry. It is merely changing the old world business models some can’t bear to leave behind.

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