@degusta: The REAL Death of the Music Industry

The corrected chart

[Editor Charlie sez:  Another screw up by the “powers that be”!  When will the establishment stop hiring/listening/promoting these incompetents?!  A must read for anyone who subscribes to Lefsetz.]

In January, Bain & Company produced the following chart as part of their report on “Publishing in the Digital Age” (PDF):

Then on Tuesday, someone posted it on Flickr. Subsequently, Peter Kafka of Wall Street Journal’s MediaMemo noticed it and passed it along to Jay Yarow, who made it Business Insider’s Chart of the Day on Wednesday, citing Kafka and the Flickr post. On Thursday, the excellent John Gruber at Daring Fireball linked to it and between those two postings the chart garnered a fair bit of attention, including from the likes of apparent digital music expert Bob Lefsetz (“First in Music Analysis”). No one seems to have tracked it back to the original source  nor noticed what happened to catch my eye straight away:

This chart sucks.

What’s Wrong With It

Oh, Bain – I hope no one has hired you for your expert “analysis” in this field:

  • The chart uses raw revenue numbers, not adjusted for inflation or population.
  • The chart is labeled “Global Music Turnover” but the data is actually US only. 1
  • The chart says “Bain Analysis” but it’s very unclear that they did any analysis, since anyone paying the RIAA $25 can login and immediately see virtually the same chart, albeit formatted slightly differently.
  • They fail to clarify how & if they distribute the RIAA’s 16 sometimes vague categories amongst the 4 they use.

Read the post on Business Insider.