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Record industry revenues return to decline, mainly because of Japan

By | Published on Wednesday 19 March 2014

IFPI Digital Music Report 2014

This time last year the record industry was happy, because the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry had just confirmed that, after over a decade of decline, the global record business had achieved some growth in 2012, with revenues up 0.3%. Actually, a subsequent report downgraded that to 0.2%, but growth is growth is growth, right?

Fast forward to now, and how did we all fair in 2013 do you think? I mean, the record industries in Norway, Sweden, Germany and the UK all reported growth last year, so worldwide things are still looking good, surely?

Well, no. Not so good. Though, providing we are all willing to ignore Japan, the money generated by recorded music in 2013 only dropped by 0.1% overall, so that’s not too bad is it? And I think we can all agree to ignore the fact that, if you take in Japan’s previously reported 15% revenue slide, overall the worldwide record industry saw its income fall by 3.9%, can’t we? Good.

These top-line revenue stats for the global record industry were published yesterday alongside the IFPI’s annual digital music report. Amongst the other nuggets of stat glory revealed was confirmation that global revenues from subscription streaming services jumped up 51.3% last year bringing in over $1 billion worldwide, and helping the European record industry return to growth and the US business to hold more or less steady, despite the download market having peaked Stateside.

Commenting on her organisation’s latest report, IFPI CEO Frances Moore told CMU: “Even accounting for the difficult situation in Japan, the global recording industry is in a positive phase of its development. Revenues in most major markets have returned to growth. Streaming and subscription services are thriving. Consumers have a wider choice than ever before between different models and services. And digital music is moving into a clearly identifiable new phase as record companies, having licensed services across the world, now start to tap the enormous potential of emerging markets”.