From the Department of Infographics About the Music Industry comes another brightly color-coded IATMI, this one showing all sorts of data about sales and pirates, including the fact that 71.7 percent of music is sold by four companies — Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI Group. Yay, free market! You could go back and forth about whether the music industry is actually in decline, since there are more ways to make money off music now, and say something like: "cumulatively, there is more revenue being generated from live performances, combined with selling stuff (merch, music, apps, advertising slots, streams, licensing, publishing, etc.), than any other year in the history of the world. Moreover the graph of this number is sloping up and not down."
Or you could just look at the pretty pictures. Artists get $1.60 for every $15.99 CD sold at retail — at that rate, you'd only have to move 725 units a month to make minimum wage as a musician!