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The US music industry last year experienced its biggest gain since 1998

By Shawn Knight ยท 16 replies
Mar 31, 2017
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  1. The music industry as a whole last year turned in its best performance since 2009 according to the latest data from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

    In its annual report for 2016, the trade group says retail music sales in the US reached $7.7 billion. That represents growth of 11.4 percent year-over-year and is the largest single-year gain since 1998.

    Despite the streaming-induced growth spurt, the music industry remains a shell of its former self as revenues in 2016 were only about half of what they were in 1999 when physical media like compact discs were the primary method of distribution.

    Indeed, the RIAA notes that revenues from physical products (and digital downloads) continued to decline significantly last year.

    RIAA CEO Cary Sherman said in a post on Medium that as excited as they are about growth in 2016, their recovery is fragile and fraught with risk. The marketplace is still evolving, he added, and they’ve experienced unexpected turns too many times before.

    By most accounts, streaming looks to be the future for the music industry. In 2016, streaming music accounted for 51.4 percent of industry revenues, or $3.9 billion – an increase of 69 percent compared to the previous year. It’s the first time streaming music has accounted for the majority of sales in the US.

    Whether or not the segment will grow fast enough to offset declining sales of CDs and downloads, however, remains to be seen.

    Permalink to story.

  2. noel24

    noel24 TS Evangelist Posts: 506   +438

    Those are revenues. How much do they save by not printing CDs? Giving recent legislation in the US, next step will be (totally legally) installing spyware on our PCs to charge people for every time they open mp3 file. And an add before and after each tune.
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. OutlawCecil

    OutlawCecil TS Guru Posts: 655   +469

    And they complain about pirates lol
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    "The US music industry last year experienced its biggest gain since 1998".
    Why? Are some people having 2nd thoughts about pirating their music these days? I don't believe it. Human nature is human nature, nobody pays for what they can get for free.
  5. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,858   +2,167

    You're thinking about it the wrong way. The problem here is value. Record labels over value their product to the point that many people aren't willing to buy it. I'm not paying $10 for digital download of a CD. I'd pay $2-3 for it no problem. If probably buy all my music if I could get it for 2-3 bucks.

    The other thing is that if you buy the CD they no longer give you cool stuff to look at. 99% of the time its just a piece of paper with a track list on the inside cover. I remember getting small books on the inside of the case with info on the band members and the bands history. There use to be real value in buy a physical CD. Now companies want to charge the same amount for so much less.
    Lurker101 and Reehahs like this.
  6. MarkHughes

    MarkHughes TS Addict Posts: 182   +93

    Exactly, I recall when casettes where killing music, Then recordable cd's, then MP3's/Torrents...

    I lost any sympathy when I saw a guy moaning about it while sat next to the pool of his multi million dollar mansion.
    Reehahs likes this.
  7. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    You're 100% correct in your assumption of the over valuing labels. I too would be more than happy to part with 2-3 bucks for a music collection I'd want and I suspect most people would too... but... as I alluded to about normal human nature, why pay when you don't have to.
    Having said that, back in the day when I used to buy LP's and CD's I enjoyed the extra literature that came with them, I forgotten about that. Thank you for reminding me. Those extra value features never came with seven singles or maxi singles. The only thing that's improved about the way we get our music delivered these days is that we get to pick and choose what tracks we want, not like the old days, we had to buy the whole LP even if we liked only one or two songs on it.
  8. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,903   +3,346

    People are lazy though. If you can get music easier through legitimate means and they provide a good experience (like a nice website, good service) people will happily pay for it.
    NeoFlux, Reehahs and MarkHughes like this.
  9. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    I agree. A lot will but the vast majority won't. It's still just too easy to pirate music.
  10. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 728   +471

    I hate to say it that despite being stuck with having to use iTunes for purchases, Apple for got it first and got it almost right charging 1$ per song. Now if they could charge half the price for it, get rid of iTunes, and make it high quality DRM file then that would be awesome.
  11. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,858   +2,167

    The point I was trying to drive home with my post is the fact that they aren't offering anything to incentivize people to NOT pirate.
  12. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    I figured out what you were on about but I stopped to reminisce.
    yRaz likes this.
  13. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,257   +3,672

    You know, we hear so much news about music piracy, yet they have their biggest year ever???? Me thinks there is a rat in the woodwork!
  14. Thorney

    Thorney TS Enthusiast Posts: 53   +14

    why is a free Spotify account not enough incentive not to pirate?, I think for most people it is hence this news.
  15. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    I guess you don't yet realise that Spotify's service isn't available worldwide then. In fact it's still very limited service. Just a bit of a newsflash for you.
  16. Thorney

    Thorney TS Enthusiast Posts: 53   +14

    Well this article is referring to the US so...
  17. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 978   +324

    This is why I like pirates, while they do something that is illegal they will find a way around any type of "legal" add on like that.

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