Yesterday, Bain & Company produced a fascinating chart that showed the explosion of CD sales and a huge decline. There were some issues with the chart, and Business Insider corrected it and dove into the general data.
So let’s correct the inaccurate conclusions one might reasonably draw from the misleading Bain chart:
Wrong: The music industry is down around 40% from its peak in 1999
Correct: The music industry is down 64% from its peak.
Wrong: At least the music industry is almost 4 times better off than in 1973.
Correct: The music industry is actually down 45% from where it was in 1973.
Wrong: The CD era was the aberration. (Mr. Gruber’s reasonable take)
Correct: The CD peak was only 13% better than the vinyl peak, not over 250% better as the Bain chart implies.
The overall conclusion is that the music industry is actually doing much worse than the Bain chart implies: 10 years ago the average American spent almost 3 times as much on recorded music products as they do today. 26 years ago they spent almost twice as much as they do today.