Rockonomics : What the Music Industry Can Teach Us About Economics (and Our Future)

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Alan Krueger, the former chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, uses the music industry, from rock artists to music executives, from managers to promoters, as a way in to explain the principles of economics, and the forces shaping our economic lives.

As economists recognize, the music industry is often a leading indicator of today's economy; it is among the first to be disrupted by the latest wave of technology, and examining the ins and outs of how musicians create and sell new songs and plan concert tours offers valuable lessons for what is in store for businesses and employees in other industries that are struggling to adapt.

Drawing on interviews with leading band members, music executives, managers, promoters, and using the latest data on revenues, royalties, tour dates, and merchandise, Rockonomicstakes readers backstage to show how the music industry really works--who makes money and how much, and how the economics of the music industry has undergone a radical transformation during the last twenty years.

Before digitalization and the ability to stream music over the Internet, rock musicians made the bulk of their income from record sales. Today, income from selling songs has plummeted, even for superstars like Taylor Swift; the real money nowadays is derived from concert sales. In 2016, for example, Billy Joel earned $212.4 million from his live performances, and less than $1 million from record sales and streaming. Even Paul McCartney, who has written and recorded more number one songs than anyone in music history, today, earns 93 percent of his income from live concerts. Krueger tackles common questions: How does a song become popular? And how does a new artist break out in today's winner-take-all economy?
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Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 157 x 233 x 30mm | 432g
  • John Murray Publishers Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1473667895
  • 9781473667891
  • 89,103

Review Text

A key voice on a vast array of economic issues for more than two decades Barack Obama
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Review quote

'A key voice on a vast array of economic issues for more than two decades' * Barack Obama * [A] highly readable book...It is Krueger's meticulous attention to detail that makes his work so compelling -- John Meagher * Irish Independent Review * Krueger's book does a fine job describing the financial underpinnings of the music trade and pulling together the many still-shifting strands which will determine its future * Reuters * Rockonomics is entertaining, educational and enlightening. Alan Krueger gives us a backstage tour of the music industry - and in doing so, he creates a brilliant metaphor for our entire economy. Highly recommended * Harlan Coben * The author's sparkling intelligence and lively prose make for a thought-provoking and enjoyable read ... [a] vivid, human portrait provided of the broader music ecosystem * New York Times * An intriguing read for those who want to understand how their favourite bands are - or aren't, as the case may be - staying afloat in the streaming era * Mojo * An absolutely brilliant mind. The definition of left and right brain balance * Quincy Jones * An eye-opening and entertaining read * The Economist * The music business keeps re-inventing itself (from records, to tape, to CDs to streaming) and Alan Krueger covers all the bases. As one former LSE student once sang: 'its only rock and roll but I like it, like it, yes I do.' That applies to this book too * Richard Thaler, author of 'Nudge' * Does what Krueger did best - brings economics to life, and life to economics * The Times * A key voice on a vast array of economic issues for more than two decades * Barack Obama *
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About Alan Krueger

Alan Krueger was the Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University and Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Formerly President Barack Obama's chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, he was widely published on issues related to education, labour markets and income distribution.
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Rating details

30 ratings
4.03 out of 5 stars
5 27% (8)
4 50% (15)
3 23% (7)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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