US Music Sales Improve
"Record companies have taken a proactive approach to dealing with piracy, implementing educational efforts and enforcement programs that have dramatically increased awareness of the illegality of unauthorized file sharing."
The words are RIAA boss Mitch Bainwol's and they were delivered as the value of US music shipments from record companies to retail outlets reportedly declined 4.3% to $11.05bn last year, compared with $11.6bn in 2002, says the Financial Times report here.
We weren't able to visit the RIAA web site to have a look at the numbers. Every time we tried, we got Could not connect to remote server.
Sadly, it's been down a lot, lately - more than usual, in fact. This time Mydoom F, rather than hackers, may have been responsible.
In any event, in volume terms, wholesale shipments of CDs, music videos and other formats fell 2.7% to 658.2m units, a significant improvement on the 7.8% fall in the previous year, says the FT, going on:
"But industry executives warned that the trend was still moving in the wrong direction, forcing labels to cut costs.
"Earlier this week Warner Music, one of the world's five 'majors', said it was shedding more than 1,000 jobs in a bid to cut costs by $200m. Sony Music and BMG, the music arm of Germany's Bertelsmann media group, are seeking $300m of savings if their planned 50-50 joint venture is approved.
"One executive said the industry did not expect total sales to rebound significantly before 2007."