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Rockonomics

A Backstage Tour of What the Music Industry Can Teach Us About Economics and Life
Narrated by: Fred Berman
Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (23 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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

The music industry is 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, streaming tour dates, and merchandise sales, Rockonomics takes listeners 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 recent decades. 

Before digitalization and the ability to stream music over the internet, rock stars made much of their income from record sales. Today, income from selling songs has plummeted, even for superstars like James Taylor and Taylor Swift. The real money nowadays is derived from concert sales. In 2017, for example, Billy Joel earned $27.4 million from his live performances, and less than $2 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 80 percent of his income from live concerts. Krueger tackles commonly-asked questions: How does a song become popular? And how does a new artist break out in today's winner-take-all economy? How can musicians and everyday workers earn a living in the digital economy? 

"An absolutely brilliant mind. The definition of left and right brain balance!" (Quincy Jones) 

Includes a PDF of charts and graphs. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Alan B. Krueger (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"The music biz has been down a twisted path, but Alan Krueger brings it all together in a smart, relatable way. Rockonomics has lessons far beyond the music industry, so fasten your seat belt and come along for the ride." (Donald Passman, music industry attorney and author of All You Need to Know About the Music Business)

"Krueger has produced something special here. With reference to Lady Gaga, Bono, Dylan, and Springsteen, he tells us a ton about how the modern economy works, and also about the human spirit. Oh, he has something to say about human happiness, too. Brilliant, surprising, and fun - a bit like rock music itself." (Cass R. Sunstein, Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard University and author of Conformity: The Power of Social Influences)

"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, number-one New York Times best-selling author of Don’t Let Go

"This 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, Nobel Prize Recipient in Economics and Charles R. Walgreen Professor at University of Chicago Booth School of Business)

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Nothing new. Absolutely nothing.

Regurgitation of facts discussed for a very long time. people are irritated by ads. the streaming made the CDs obsolete. Brilliant. And if that is not enough to get your blood pressure up, the voice of the narrator will

0 of 2 people found this review helpful