For better or worse (read: better) piracy is here and it's changed things. These days an artist has to have a presence over data-rich streaming sites such as soundcloud and bandcamp if they accurately want to gauge the size of their audience and tour efficiently enough to get money out of it and start building a reputation. And even then, it's risky, but it negates the main problems with piracy and money can, and will, still be made. I certainly wouldn't say that piracy is killing music. In fact, it's making a lot more music more widely available, which increases the amount of different breeding grounds there are, technically (though not necessarily) increasing the amount of interesting acts and artists out there.And:
Just as there are those whose musical stasis prompts them to ask questions about who the next "Dylan" or "Led Zeppelin" or "Beatles" will be, there are those who wonder how today's severely fractured market and wealth of distractions will ever produce another 25-million-album seller like Michael Jackson (or even $35K a year). Those that blame this lack of multimillionaire chart dominators solely on piracy, rather than on underlying cultural shifts, economic woes, a multitude of new distractions and other disruptions are merely settling for a convenient whipping boy, rather than actually working on fixing their problems.
The music industry and comics industry are easy comparisons because they are essentially fighting the same battles, just on very different scales, at least in the west. Comics sales in Europe and Asia are a different animal, and I'd be curious (only tangentially) as to how this battle is shaping up over there.
It has been said that filesharers purchase more music, ebooks, etc. than non-filesharers. The argument goes back and forth on this, but one thing's for sure: pirates know how to get your work in front of thousands of people you'd never reach otherwise.
You can debate the surety of that statement, but I don't think by much.