Here’s the quote:
Rolling Stone recently published an article titled “Rock’s New Economy: Making Money When CDs Don’t Sell.” Downloads are steadily undermining record sales — but today’s rock bands, the magazine reports, are finding other sources of income. Even if record sales are modest, bands can convert airplay and YouTube views into financial success indirectly, making money through “publishing, touring, merchandising and licensing.
First, as a news flash, publishing, touring, merchandising and licensing are not new revenue streams! Artists have always made money from these sources. So the question is, are there *increased* revenues from publishing, touring and merchandising to offset declining record sales? There is no evidence of it.
The music industry is indeed hemorrhaging. And it is possible that the music business declines and nothing replaces that revenue. But for Krugman, an internationally noted economist, to suggest, based on a Rolling Stone article, that new revenue streams are effectively, replacing the old ones is shameful. While I would not expect Krugman to maintain scholarly standards in a general interest paper like the New York Times, I wouldn’t expect him to entirely abandon such standards either, particularly in the field of his expertise.
I guess if Maureen Dowd had written this I wouldn’t be so exercised. But Paul Krugman seems to have entirely departed the field of professional economics.