Saturday, October 14, 2006

The market changes

The usual harrumphing as the record industry unveils its six month sales: £7.4bn. A casual observer might assume that a business that is supposedly in such poor health that it's become the tail wagging the World Trade Organisation dog shouldn't be complaining if its doing that sort of business, but when did you ever hear a man in a suit do anything other than bemoan their lot?

Of course, the argument about piracy is waved as an explanation for the slight fall in the value of the sales, but at least the IFPI has the good grace to admit that "competition" has played a part - CDs are getting more realistically priced, downloads tend to be cheaper than physical product (although not by enough, yet) - and, with the US industry having maintained prices through illegal activity in the price, the drop in costs of consumer sales has been quite marked.

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) said that while it did not have exact figures to compare, both album and single sales had shown a slight rise in 2006 from last year.

The global figures cover wide national variations with those countries seeing a rise, such as Japan (12%), South Korea (5%) and Australia (6%), balanced by many seeing a fall, including Germany (-4%), the US (-7%) and France (-9%).

The music industry is doing pretty well, in other words. Will they now stop pleading for special treatment?

(Clue: No.)