Quick Book Review: “Rockonomics: A Backstage Tour About What the Music Industry can Teach us About Economics and Life” by Alan B. Krueger

I’m a huge music fan, but I’ve never thought much about the music industry and how it actually works: who makes the money, how they make it, and how much they actually make.  This book was loaded with interesting facts about the music business and how it has radically changed over the past few years.  Rock musicians used to make most of their income from record sales.  Once music became digitizable, the income from sales plummeted, and musicians now earn their real money from concert performances. The author delves into many fascinating topics: how ticket prices are set, how merchandising is handled, and how streaming is changing everything.  It was interesting to know that the top 1% of performers take in 60% of all concert revenue.  He talks about publishing, managers, royalties, copyright laws, scalpers, contracts, Napster, and pretty much anything you can think of regarding the economics of the music industry.  Lots of fun facts, but definitely geared toward more geeky music fans.  A few sections contain statistical stuff that makes your eyes glaze over a bit, but mostly a fun, interesting read.

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