If it’s Tuesday, it must be sky-is-falling time! From Forbes:
The company predicts that overall music sales by 2009 will be half their level at the peak of the CD boom.
Global music sales are forecast to fall to 23 bln usd in 2009, down 16 pct from last year and far below the peak of 45 bln usd in 1997, according to Enders.
The report blames the industry’s ills on the continuing effects of digital technology, which allows consumers to store large quantities of music on computers, and to cherry-pick tracks, rather than buying albums. Rising broadband penetration has also made legal and illegal music downloading easier.
You know, just once we wish that these reports would get creative as far as reasons behind dropping sales, or at least look outside the technology-will-kill-us box. Because there are so many other factors to look at–the increasingly satiated catalog market, for one. And these pat conclusions reported by Forbes are reminding us of a quote that we happened across a few days ago:
“Record executives no longer wake up in the night worried they are the ones who have turned down the next Michael Jackson. They’ve got a worse nightmare now: They sign up the next MJ and then make no money out of him! For every record they sell, 1,000 are copied to tape by fans at home and 100,000 are produced illicitly in Singapore and Taiwan! His video clips are stolen from satellite services and the world is awash with unauthorized posters and tee-shirts!”
That’s pop scholar Simon Frith in an article on the shift toward making money from “rights exploitation,” and not record sales, that ran in the journal Popular Music And Communication–and it was published in 1992, five years before the peak cited by Enders. So what happened in the interim? Oh, you know–the music industry adapted, even though they had to kick and scream the entire time while doing so.