Old school music sales fell 8% last year
Digital fails to offset decline, industry blames pirates
Worldwide music sales declined by more than eight per cent in 2008 to $18.42bn, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.
It reported a sharp drop in the US, where sales dramatically tumbled by nearly 19 per cent last year. Sales were a little less dire in Europe where they fell more than six per cent for 2008, while Latin America was down 4.7 per cent.
The only bright spot was in Asia, with sales up just one per cent on 2007’s figures.
Physical audio formats such as CDs, LPs and cassettes unsurprisingly took a hammering last year.
Global sales of those formats dropped 15 per cent last year to $13.83bn. The US took the brunt of that dip where physical music format sales declined by nearly a third.
Digital music sales saw an upswing, but it wasn’t enough to offset the big drop in physical audio format sales.
Song downloads, mobile music, online subscriptions and streaming through ad-funded services, were up 24 per cent worldwide to $3.78bn in 2008.
Sales were the strongest in the US, where they grew 16.5 per cent to $1.78bn last year.
The music industry has blamed widespread piracy for the global decline in album and single sales, as it continues to grapple with new business models, the spread of BitTorrent tracker sites and legal spats with individuals keen to give tunes away for free.
Just last week the four co-founders behind the infamous BitTorrent tracker site The Pirate Bay were handed one-year sentences and ordered to pay hefty fines, after a Swedish court convicted them of being accessories to breaching copyright laws. ®
1. I bought a lot of Vinyl LPs; since then I got quite a few of them again in CD's. As I am forgetful I have discovered that I have several CD's in duplicates.
2. Generally speaking I go and buy any CD I want as I think I can afford it as I would want to have the quality of recording it gives me.
3. However the last ten years I have bought very few CD's per year in comparision and when I enter the record store I do not seem to find much of interest. Perhaps having a large collection means that there is less need for getting new stuff. As it is I can hardly find the time to listen on my existing records anyway. It is obvious that If the record industry expects people like me to continue to buy "music" in the same fashion as before then they are severely mistaken. My personal experience is completely unrelated to piracy.
*** It reported a sharp drop in the US, where sales dramatically tumbled by nearly 19 per cent last year. Sales were a little less dire in Europe where they fell more than six per cent for 2008, while Latin America was down 4.7 per cent. The only bright spot was in Asia, with sales up just one per cent on 2007’s figures. ***
The RIAA translator:
1. USA has the biggest drop in sales and this obviously mean that the USA has the biggest problem with Piracy. Now it is obious that the USA is leading the world league in piracy the governmental attention should be on US to clean up its act and put in some appropriate legislation against piracy. At the moment the US would appear to be a world leading safe haven for pirates and copyright thieves; If they do not change their laws we should request for the US to boycott themselves and to pursue a self imposed trade embargo...
2. Europe is proving itself to be a little less soft on piracy and copyright theft than the US. Obviously the legislation is going in the right direction but the governments are still not there as the loss of revenue due to piracy and copyright theft is still rather large. However it is nice to know that the governments are collaborating on some of the more prominent issues raised.
3. Latin America is succesfully targetting the criminal behaviour of pirats and copyright thieves. The comparision between Latin America and the USA shows that the criminal behaviour of pirats cost FOUR TIMES as much in the USA as in Latin America. For Latin America this does appear to be a promising development.
4. Asia has the last few years done a phenomenal 180 degrees turn and has no problems with piracy and copyright theft what so ever. The financial situation shows that Asia is where the actions against piracy and copyright theft has been most succesful. As a result piracy and copyright theft is mostly unheard of as a phenomena in ASIA.
Strangely the number of turntables sold increased last year according to Hifi Choice. Still it is a minority market in comparison to downloads on P2P.