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Dear Musician - Celebrate the Music Industry Comeback

Who doesn't like a comeback...or cake!

 

by Dendy Jarrett

 

 

 

 

After years of gloom and doom as physical media sales declined, the music industry is on the upswing. Digital music revenues have exceeded physical sales, subscription revenue is up, vinyl is still maintaining its niche market, and there are more outlets than ever—Spotify, YouTube, cdbaby, and more—to sell and promote your music. Yes, there are still some bumps in the road; for example, distributing payments to artists and songwriters still needs work to make sense in the 21st century. And we could use more live music venues!

 

But the patient is no longer in the intensive care unit and is on the mend. The signs are there for all to see.

 

  • Not that long ago, our Make Better Music newsletter dispatched to around 29,000 people. The latest issue went to over 127,000 people, all of whom opted in (and are responsible for a higher-than-average open rate). And, Harmony Central’s demographic base is trending younger and is attracting more female readers.

  • MIDI is being rejuvenated for the new century with a variety of new proposals, some of which have already been implemented (like MIDI Polyphonic Expression). What’s more, The MIDI Association—a global community of the people who work, play, and create with MIDI—has had astronomical growth since its start a little less than three years ago.

  • Despite sensationalist articles about the death of the guitar, electric guitar sales since 2015 have been increasing, while acoustic guitar sales are growing substantially, and ukulele sales continue to skyrocket.

  • By now, forums were supposed to be dead. But after a freefall in forum participation, the numbers are on the rise. Although maybe it’s just that people are getting tired of Facebook, it seems the opportunity to have wide-ranging, thoughtful discussions is something people missed—and they’re coming back.

  • Senior Contributor Harmony Central-ite Craig Anderton, who has always had an uncanny knack for seeing the future, is spending most of his time writing the “Musician’s Guide to Home Recording” series of print and eBooks for Hal Leonard. He believes computer-based recording has reached a tipping point, making it more accessible than ever to a wide variety of musicians.

  • The Winter NAMM show—which is just around the corner—continues to rack up huge attendance numbers, Sweetwater’s GearFest had over 15,000 attendees last summer (and perhaps even more tellingly, sold 15% more music gear than last year), the 45 Ultra-branded music festivals in 20 countries drew over 1 million people, and SXSW (as well as other festivals) are ramping up attendance.

 

To quote A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Granted, when you look at the news, it may seem like the worst of times. But when it comes to music, at Harmony Central we believe we’re heading toward the best of times. And to do your part, all you need to do is...Make Better Music! As for Team HC, we're off to have cake. After all, who doesn't like a comeback...or cake!  -HC-



_________________________________________________________________

 

 

Dendy Jarrett is the Publisher and Executive Director of Harmony Central. He has been heavily involved at the executive level in many aspects of the drum and percussion industry for over 25 years and has been a professional player since he was 16. His articles and product reviews have been featured in InTune Monthly, Gig Magazine, DRUM! and Modern Drummer Magazines.

 

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