International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the association that represents the recording industry worldwide, recently released its Digital Music Report for 2010. In it was a lot of information that certainly put the state of the entire music industry in perspective, such as:
1) It's estimated that 95% of all music downloads are unlicensed, or 19 out of every 20. Spain has the highest piracy rate, and it's estimated that 45% of all Spanish Internet users get their music illegally.
2) Worldwide, digital music accounted for 29% of record label revenues last year, as opposed to 25% the year before. In the US, the percentage was much higher, with a full 50% of the record label revenues coming from digital sales. In Europe, digital sales grew by 20%
3) More than 400 legal music services now exist globally, 200 of them in Europe alone.
4) Global music sales were down 9% in 2010, while digital music sales were up only 6%. The total global revenue was $4.6 billion, which is about 10 times less than what Apple has in its bank account.
5) Box office sales of the top 50 tours dropped by 12% last year and the number of tickets sold declined. The revenue looks higher than it really is because the price of tickets have gone up.
6) Fewer new artists are breaking through globally. Total sales by debut artists in the global top 50 album chart in 2010 were just one quarter of the level they achieved in 2003
Now you can look at this report and see doom and gloom written all over it, but I'm going to give you a different perspective. The industry is changing and the big shakeout is in progress. You'll soon see many of the old guard drop away, and with them, their way of doing business. You'll see much of the big money that controls the business abandon it because it's no longer profitable. Good riddance to them.
In their place will be a new business and a new way of working. The new music business may never return to its former heights, but it will be better than ever and well worth the wait. New blood, new energy, new music, new excitement. Right around the bend.
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