A thought that occurred to me a few days ago, though it's hardly a fully worked out thesis. While direct purchase of media is falling across pretty much every category, and many people obtain just about all they consume for "free", they're still typically paying quite a significant amount for access to it all. Both in terms of hardware, computers and portable players, and the pipeline, usually some kind of broadband internet.
So artists, labels, and studios are responsible for a lot of economic activity that never reaches them, and we still spend a lot of money to acquire and consume these works, even if these costs are hidden among shared expenses for other activities.
At the same time, artists, labels, and studios can use the internet to build platforms for directly sharing works and presumable build revenues, but here's where ISPs attempts to throttle the bandwidth or charge extra for it creates a double whammy on the creative side of things.
I don't have answers, but just wanted to point out that a lot of people often end up making OTHER companies very rich while ostensibly getting some things for free.