Is the music industry imploding?

John Moe Jan 24, 2011

We all know that CD sales are ridiculously low, people just download music now. But the New York Times has a report that indicates maybe the music industry transition going on here is less adaptation than extinction. Digital music sales are still growing but only 6 percent world wide.

In each of the past two years, the rate of increase in digital revenue has approximately halved. If that trend continues, digital sales could top out at less than $5 billion this year, about a third of the overall music market but many billions of dollars short of the amount needed to replace long-gone sales of compact discs.

The story points to better growth in South Korea where the government has instituted a massive crackdown on piracy. But most other places, internet service providers are reluctant to police the internet to help out music labels. Labels are holding out hopes for cloud-based music services like Spotify and Rdio but the one thing those services don’t really need is record labels.

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