The present and future of post production business and technology

Is piracy killing the music industry?

Is piracy killing the music industy? Not by any measure that is based on fact. Music is growing, CDs are shrinking.

The music industry is growing quite nicely from every possible measure, except that the RIAA/Record Labels refuse to consider that there is any “music industry” that doesn’t include them. Recorded music on CD sales have been dropping because of digital downloads (growing dramatically) and independent musicians doing it without labels, and making more money than they did with a label. (And it works for big established acts, leaving a label, as well as artists just starting out.)

According to statistics taken from the RIAA shipment database, between 2004 and 2008 the number of single tracks sold in the U.S. increased by 669 percent while the number of album sales dropped 42 percent. Consequently, the income of the big labels suffered since single track sales are less profitable than full albums. As can be seen in the chart below, the number of music ‘units’ sold continues to grow rapidly nonetheless.

See the graph in the linked article.