It looks like downloads are dying. https://www.riaa.com/u-s-sales-database/
Sales are up a bit in the US but downloads are dwindling.
Mechanical and downloads are dying. Streaming pays the artists poorly.
I was at a ballgame and the music that they played were the old rock anthems because nothing new is recognizable or appropriate. I read an article in Scientific American that was titled, "You're Not Just Getting Old, Today's Music Really Does Suck" I was unable to find it to post but I found this snarkier article about why today's music sucks. http://www.mandatory.com/culture/1062828-11-reasons-music-sucks-now-more-than-ever
It's like the artistry is gone.
Since I no longer perform I go to song swaps and open mic mostly for the comradeship. I hear some promising songs but it's gotten so much about the performance rather than the content. To me a lot of what they are writing is lame, self-indugent, uninteresting, devoid of dynamics, depressing and low energy. Rant over!
New rant beginning. There are talented young people but I don't think they have a snowball's chance in hell or achieving the success they deserve. It's like the song is dead. It is like it is becoming a lost art. Humans were probably singing in prehistoric times.
We used to get our music from terrestrial radio and then VH1 and MTV. You knew the name of the song and the artist. Artists would get revenue from radio plays and TV and juke boxes and mechanical sales. Now they are dependent mostly on streaming for revenue and the cut the artists get is dismal.
I would rather just compose and write songs and leave the recording and the performing to someone else. Great music takes team work. Good band mates, a good producer, a good engineer and good promoters all used to lead to success. Not every talented person can to what Prince did.
There is a today a glut of mostly bad music and a shrinking audience. I here some good stuff on SoundCloud but it seems to be about every 200 tracks that you hear something with listening to. Good music is getting lost in the sauce.
What scraps are left are going to a handful of not so good artists. The pie is shrinking and a few people at the top of the pyramid are mostly corporate types are getting th revenue.