U.S. Paper Says No Decline in New Music In Napster Age

A new paper by Joel Waldfogel, an economist at the University of Minnesota and NBER, finds no evidence that Napster and P2P have resulted in a reduction in recorded music or new artists coming to market.  The study also finds that independent music labels are playing an increasingly important role in the release of new music.


  1. Really?
    Go figure … didn’t the RIAA tell us that we are living through the Apocalypse?

  2. @Crockett
    It IS the Apocalypse… the sudy confirms it… independent (pirate) music labels are becomming more popular… we cannot allow that to happen!!!!


  3. Renee Marie Jones says:

    RIAA has their own definitions
    Independent labels are not “music,” according to the RIAA. They only count full album sales from major labels as “real music.” So … by their definition, the music business is dying … and it is the ability for independents to deliver music digitally, without the aid of the labels, that makes it possible.

    For the RIAA, the important thing is to eliminate any delivery system that does not use the major labels. Their fight is not and has never been against piracy, that is just the excuse they use that government will automatically believe without question.

  4. Go Live
    Really, all the “napster” revolution should have done is force music artists to rely on the live show for income. Actually working for money. I understand alot of work goes into making an album, but its unproportional. You work for a month or two, sometimes less and then you make millions for life doing nothing. Its lazy. Recordings should be promotional & the live show is where they should be making thier money. Working for it. Its not like rockstars aren’t going to get rich, but they sure are going to need real talent.

  5. You dont have to go live – just make music for yourself and others to enjoy.
    There’s no one I know who creates and/or enjoys music seems to think you need the ‘music industries’ any more – the music industry thinks otherwise and makes it hard for anyone who disagrees.
    You can create a whole album on a pc with free software these days and you don’t have to sleep with the producers unless you want to.

  6. @Luc VNO: You don’t know the music business. Artists don’t “make millions” from album sales. New acts are lucky to break even on their first album. They can make millions from concerts & touring. If I could make millions from album sales, why would I want to tour?

  7. Only reason people were ripping in the early 00s was because legal means to purchase digital music weren’t available. Waldfogal isn’t the first to point this out. Interesting read.

  8. Most of the new music is awful
    made by amateurs and wanna be’s

    there’s no quality control..

    sifting thru all the crap is our new reality and time waster

  9. RE: Epstein
    You’re talking about Katy Pay-me and Beiber right? And all the other commercial pop, rock, and country artists?