Music Sales Are Up For The First Time Since 1999
9:30 am, February 27th | by Colette McIntyre
MARK-PAUL GOSSELAAR: You must be wondering why I called you all here. Well, I, for one, am sick of the new millennium. I used to be on the cover of EVERY. SINGLE. ISSUE of Tiger Beat and Bop. I was flippin’ Zach Morris. Now who am I? I’m the guy whose show on TNT got cancelled. I can’t even survive on TNT! No one has been hitting up my pager, I can’t get anyone to read my script for a Tamagotchi movie, and it took me three days to find JNCO jeans on Ebay. What kind of world is this? The 21st-century? More like the twenty-WORST century! I think it’s time to take back what’s rightfully ours…it’s time to bring back the ’90s. Now who’s with me?
SIM: Balinka! Vooooooo gerbits!
MOOD RING: BLACK — VERY INTENSE EMOTION LIKE STRESS, ANGER OR MYSTERY.
DEVON SAWA: You know I’m with you, Mark.
MARK-PAUL: [MUTTERING TO SIM] Who is that guy?
LISA FRANK: Imagine a very special place where fun and friendship flourish. A place unlike any other, where the brilliant colors of the rainbow can be found in everything and everyone who lives there. Now imagine an army of ponies, whales, bears, and tigers willing to fight for that place, rising up in a fierce rainbow army! I will taste the blood of my enemies and I will be queen of this world. It will be my world! It will be the Fantastic World of Lisa Frank!
MARK-PAUL: Damnit it, Furby! This is no time for hugs!
FURBY: May-may! U-nye!
MARK-PAUL: …You always know what to say. [TURNS TO DEVON] This guy! He plays me like a fiddle! [TO FURBY] Get over here!
While I have no proof that this secret meeting between ’90s icons actually occurred, it’s the only way I can explain the music industry’s recent revival, experiencing its first lift in global sales since 1999. According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s Digital Music Report, in 2012, sales rose 0.3 percent to $16.5 billion. While the increase may seem minuscule, music industry insiders are exhilarated by the numbers. “It is hard to remember a year for the recording industry that has begun with such a palpable buzz in the air,” said Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI.
Not everyone credited Zach Morris’ secret army for the music industry’s recovery. In fact, no one did. (Except me.) According to the IFPI report, digital music is driving the recording industry into the black. In 2012, digital revenue grew by nine percent, bringing its share of total industry revenue to 34 percent. Paid-for music downloads, subscriptions and ad-supported music sales have finally grown to the point that they can counterbalance the ever-dwindling CD sales. There are four factors responsible for music’s “renaissance,” says The Atlantic: “Better mobile technology, a growing global middle class, more music-listening options, and an effective crackdown on piracy that is making paid music a more attractive option.” Moore believes the music industry’s successful adaptation to a digital world gives cause to celebrate. These are hard-won successes for an industry that has innovated, battled and transformed itself over a decade.
Yet it’s not all sunshine and Rainbow Chasers for the recording biz: while online sales have increased globally, a least half of the top 20 markets haven’t seen any growth. In the United States, music sales continue to drop. “Our markets remain rigged by illegal free music,” said Moore. ““This is a problem where governments have a critical role to play, in particular by requiring more cooperation from advertisers, search engines, ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and other intermediaries.”