Media research operation Enders Analysis has just predicted that global music sales will be $23 billion in 2009. Now, that number doesn't look so bad...until you look back at the $45 billion in sales for 1997. The CD was king then, and the digital download business did not exist.
The report blames the industry's ills on the continuing effects of digital technology, which allows consumers to store large quantities of music on computers, and to cherry-pick tracks, rather than buying albums. Rising broadband penetration has also made legal and illegal music downloading easier.
Industry experts says that CD sales have already declined 20% in the first seven weeks of the year, so the forecast of a steeper drop seem plausible.
I can only imagine what effects these actual numbers will have on the industry. The amount of jobs that will be lost, the number of artists who will have problems getting signed because the company just cannot afford to take risks, as well as artists who will not get their contracts renewed because they cannot afford it.
A good thing this will bring though is perhaps the quality of the music. They will need to deliver the best possible music because that is what they will need if they have any hope of staying alive. Because really, if a lot of the music isn't selling already but some definitely is, they will need to focus on the music that "definitely is".
Will they just come to terms with the fact that singles are the new thing, because our generation loves to pick and choose as they please, forming mix CD after mix CD. And when I say mix CD I mean an iPod playlist.
Come on, music industry! I can't wait to see what you come up with.