Today the successful artists generate money via - 60% Tickets, 20% tour merchandise; 10% Publishing; 4% misc; 2 to 4% Record sales.
Adele is an exception and her 21 album of 2011 sold 30m. Her managers handle books and publishing - they are the quarterbacks and the artist is the CEO.
Over saturation is also a problem according to Adele's manager, 'The Internet content is everywhere; we're at saturation point which cheapens it. Sometimes you have to say no! Being a gatekeeper to these opportunities is key.'
Not doing nothing but also not standing still either. Once an artist becomes a product of value, that's where the sales are.
The next step for music now is the transition from sales to streaming.