How large is the music industry in the United States? In order to answer that question one has but to look around. Everywhere you go you will see people from 4 to 90 walking around with ear buds in or headphones on nodding to the beat. It’s universal. Music is the one topic any of us can feel comfortable talking about at any given time.
It does not matter if we find ourselves in an elevator, a doctor’s office or in our car, we are inundated with melodies of all varieties. Rock and roll, country, classical and jazz, it’s all out there and it affects us at a subconscious level. Eventually everyone listening will be lightly drumming on the chair arm or tapping his or her feet, sometimes without even realizing it. Scientific studies have shown that even the brain waves of coma patients respond when exposed to musical stimuli.
Music is used to sell everything from vegetables to shampoo. It sets the mood on our favorite television shows, informs us when our favorite newscast is coming on and even makes sporting events more exciting. No wonder the industry is so lucrative.
It’s not just the sales of songs that make up the institution. In the United States alone, the revenue from concerts, recordings and broadcasts was a staggering $26.5 billion dollars in 2011. That amounts to over $76 dollars for every man, woman and child on the continent.
The music business is a boon for the economy that increases year after year. More than 50,000 people make a living from some aspect of the industry. Whether it’s the musicians on stage or the blue-collar workers packing CD’s in a warehouse, music puts food on the table all across the country.
Whether you’re using music’s “charms to soothe the savage breast”, cranking it up to get the wallflowers dancing or just making the evening commute a bit more bearable, you are a part of one of the largest industries in the United States.