Encouraging and somewhat surprising figures show that the music industry may have turned the financial corner with online success that is finally making up for loss of traditional CD sales.
It’s still early days and recovery is modest but people are starting to hope for a new musical business era.
Music was an early victim of the internet because the industry as a whole was caught unawares. Since then it has had to cope with the whole issue of illegal downloads and piracy and fewer and fewer actual compact discs selling.
The recent collapse of high street retailer HMV which was heavily supported by record labels among other interested parties has thrown the industry’s plight into focus.
Let’s Sing a New Song
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has produced fresh data suggesting music may be thumping back to life.
Katherine Rushton writing in the Daily Telegraph business section (27 February 2013) said that increasing popularity of ‘online stores such as Apple’s iTunes and net streaming services like Spotify and Deezer helped lift revenues from digital music 9% to $5.6 billion last year’.
This means that digital is now more than 33% of the global music industry’s worth.
It turns out that another change recently has been an increase in people’s willingness to pay for legal, licensed music services. That piece of news certainly flies in the face of what people expected!
This new trend is particularly marked among younger fans. Legal downloads of songs topped 4 billion last year, which included Britain’s Adele who has consistently led digital sales with her albums.
Rushton reported IPFI chief executive Frances Moore saying that recording companies’ strategies of ‘proactively licensing music across different music channels’ is paying dividends. She also called on governments to ‘tighten copyright control as well as increased co-operation from advertisers which help fund pirate websites’.
When major brands ‘stop helping to fund illegal sites that tarnish their own reputation as well as rig the music market’, then things can only get better in the industry.
Google agreed to ‘tweak the complex computer codes which power its service so that illegal websites were pushed further down rankings’. Google said it made little difference but are now talking with PayPal about ‘starving pirate sites out of existence’.
It does certainly sound as if all branches of music are starting to sing and play from the same song sheet, which has to be good news for music lovers everywhere.
Golden oldie articles worth spinning again:
Web Is Music to Ears of Entertainment Business, 16 November 2011
Pirates of the Internet: Neither Jolly Nor Romantic, 3 January 2012
Entertainment and Technology, 27 February 2012