Saturday, April 01, 2006


The IFPI has issued its annual report on how music sales did last year - a three per cent dip in total sales combined, but assess saved by a trippling in digital sales (worldwide, accounting for at least £633 million going into record company coffers - and remember, they're turning a much higher rate of profit on those sales).

John Kennedy explains the three per cent drop:

"Physical music sales declined again for a combination of reasons, including digital and physical piracy, competition from other entertainment products and the shift in consumer spending to online and mobile."

Interestingly, he doesn't consider the other, more compelling reasons - that physical music formats are overpriced; that record companies are focusing on releasing stuff that people don't want; that record shops are closing down all over the place because the labels have been happy to co-operate with chain stores and focusing on a limited number of titles which makes it difficult for people to impulse buy anything other than a very few records, most of which are shit and so on. Indeed, as with every bloody year, we're told that the major labels troubles are due to factors completely beyond their control.

The world's biggest-selling records (IFPI's perspective only) were 50 Cent's The massacre (7.5 million copies); Mariah Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi (7.7) and Coldplay. A staggering 8.3 million copies of X&Y were sold last year. Chances are someone you know bought one. Possibly even someone you like. Maybe even your own parents. How does that make you feel, eh?

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