If anything is in crisis, it is the record industry. The wider music industry is far from it.
The Guardian reports that just maybe the music industry isn’t in quite the dire straits that the alarmists over at RIAA would have you believe.
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…with album sales rising and the phenomenal growth of ringtones and legal downloads, plus record-breaking years for merchandising and publishing rights, it seems the death of the music industry has been greatly exaggerated.
According to recent record industry figures, UK sales rose by 4% in the first half of last year. The Publishing Rights Society reported that performance royalty collections (everything but record sales) in 2003 were the highest since records began in 1914.
In the US, Billboard Boxscore reported that the number of live music events worldwide was up by 25% in 2003 (generating £1.2bn in North America alone). Legal sales of downloadable songs topped 2m units a week for the first time last week. Apple’s iTunes service has sold more than 30m songs, and has yet to celebrate its first birthday.
Moreover, the astonishing growth of the ringtone market continues to take everyone by surprise. Estimates as to its true size vary widely from a conservative £600,000 from Jupiter Research to a bullish £1.9m by the ARC Group.
And all this is happening in the age of illegal filesharing.