Last year in the US, more money was spent on vinyl records than compact discs.
But the real music money is spent on on-line streaming of various types. From the link above…
Revenue from streaming, which includes “paid subscriptions, ad-supported services, digital and customized radio, social media platforms, digital fitness apps and others,” grew 7% to a record high $13.3bn. It accounted for 84% of total revenues.
I made the jump from cassette to CD for my road trip mixes, but I have no intention of paying a streaming service for music that I already paid for, 50 years ago. I will need to explore using a flash drive for my tunes. Of course, VW is making that more difficult by not putting a full size USB port in their cars, only a USB-C. I looked in the back of a Taos in the showroom last year, to see what sort of “mandatory options” the car had. One was a USB to USB-C adapter. Wonder how much VW was charging for that little thing?
The money is in the concert dates. Several acts have gone over $1 billion in net worth doing tour dates. Several acts do not spend much time in the studio as a result.
Ariana Grande does not put an ad generally on most of her YouTube videos last I looked because YouTube barely pays her. Instead of shutting down her YouTube viewers with ads she allows them in to see her music. She then tours.
Bieber has voice problems. Do not know if he will ever fully recover. He sold his music rights about a month ago for $200 million. His concert dates were worth that if not more.
Your list of money sources does not seem to include touring.
It’s been that way since the 60’s at least. Groups rarely made a lot from their record sales, they made it up in tours, which were vastly profitable. Of course it’s best to have the record sales to support the tours - and vice versa. A group was expect to go out and tour “to support” a new release, because the excitement of the fans would lead to chatter among teenagers, concert reviews in newspapers, and extra radio play as an act came to town. The radio play would help sell tickets, but also albums and vice versa. One hand washes the other.
Did about 18 months of concert promotion in my youth, the biggest I ever contracted was James Taylor & Carole King, (& JoMama) at a sports venue in Maine - and had my life savings on the line. The night before the concert we were at break even - and then came a blizzard and there was virtually no walk-up. I think we made a couple hundred bucks. I got out of that game; too many headaches and Alka-Seltzers.
Thing is, the VW dealers say you have to pay for that little thing, because that is the way the car comes, regardless whether the sticker says it is an option.
Pricing at RS did get exorbitant. My aunt needed an adapter. I told her to go to Meijer, because Meijer sold it for about a quarter what the Shack wanted. But she didn’t know enough to even tell the clerk at Meijer what she wanted. So, she went to the Shack, payed the steep price, because RS salesmen were expected to be able to figure out what the customer wanted, from the vaguest of descriptions.
My wife and I recently saw that Robert Plant and Allison Kraus were coming to Tanglewood (an outdoor venue in western MA). We were excited to get tickets until we saw that tickets were ridiculously expensive - even to sit on the lawn.
I stream because I can listen to ANYTHING I want for a single price. I also find I discover a lot of music this way. Besides the past 50 years I re-bought music all the time, it’s not any different today. Bought the LP. Wore it out and bought it again. But a cassette tape to copy it to so that it wore out more slowly. Then bought the CD. Then bought the re-master’d CD. Sometimes bought the Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs version as well. Not to mention the boxed sets. And thanks to Apple Music, much of the stuff I listen to now is high-resolution lossless or spatial audio and it cost me nothing extra. “Buying your music again” has been a thing long before streaming.
Regarding thumb drives, I have a San Disk thumb drive that has both USB-A and USB-C connectors. Problem solved.
I bought LPs, and immediately compiled mix cassettes. Wore out the tapes. Then compiled mix CDs and use the CDs, in the car, and at home. Pay one price, because that is all the law requires.
I was at the Salvation Army store scoring a replacement keyboard for the HP last week, and noticed another guy in the electronics section, spitting image of Valenti. He didn’t know who Valenti was, so I explained he was the one who spent decades trying to make us pay more for blank cassettes, blank video tapes, and recordable CDs and DVDs, so the 'JCs" could make more money. The guy pulled up a pic of Jack on his phone, and agreed on the resemblance.