The American economy is starting on an downturn that many financial advisers are calling the worst since "The Great Depression". It's affecting EVERYTHING. The rise of gas prices in the last year alone have caused increases in other sectors. There are less jobs, the dollar is at one of its lowest points against the euro, the yen, and the British pound, and yet, not every artist is suffering.
It's the smaller artist who's suffering because they have to tour. If they tour outside of their particular area (which they have to do to grow as an artist), they have to be aware that not too many people know them aside from bulletins on Myspace.
Tickets for shows have pretty much stayed the same, but with expenses going up, their profits are going down making it easier to fall into debt faster. It's a lose-lose situation.
CD sales have been dropping for the last eight years.
The new "360" deals, while it has been given to popular artists, have given record labels more protection should an artist flop.
Could you imagine one of your favorite smalller bands actually breaking up because they can't come up with the money to tour or record?
I didn't think it was possible, but you have to remember that music is a business first.
It's also affecting the way people travel to concerts. If people want to concert whore, they're doing it closer to home because taking a trip 300 miles away is not worth the commitment.
Are there concerts that you've wanted to go to, but can't because you're saving up?
Have you purchased even less music than you normally would or is it at about the same?