Great news for the music industry! It’s growing! Like, making money! For the first time in ages! Whilst we’re pretty sure this isn’t trickling down to the musicians too well (Spotify are in talks to reduce their payment of royalties to artists even further, for instance), but for everyone surrounding the musicians it’s a cautious positive step in what’s been a long – really long – battle.
Let’s not go nuts; the figure given by The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry was a rise of 0.3% for global revenue, not exactly earth-shattering. However, given the trials and tribulations the industry has had in battling piracy, the fall in physical music sales – not to mention the larger economic situation as a whole – in recent years, any improvement should be taken with open arms. "It is hard to remember a year for the recording industry that has begun with such a palpable buzz in the air," said IFPI chief executive Frances Moore, according to The Hollywood Report. The improvement was helped by the continuing surge in digital music, with MP3, subscription and advertisement services revenue increasing 9% on the previous year to $5.6 billion, contributing to a total figure of $16.5 billion.
Another load of figures, released by the NPD group, suggested a 26% fall in the illegal downloading of music, although we’re not sure how they’ve managed to arrive at such a definitive figure given the widespread and un-marshaled availability of it. Only 11% of those 13 years old and older were estimated to have downloaded from a P2P service last year too. So is the music industry winning? Perhaps, but it still looks a little top-heavy to us, with Carly Rae Jepsen and Adele the big sellers of 2012, 21 selling another phenomenal 8.3 million units. The issue is that for the last few years the industry has seemingly relied on one or two huge stars to carry the bulk of the sector, if that dries up anytime soon, then the dark days could intensify again.
Stars like Adele can't carry the Recorded Music Industry forever...can they?