It’s not like we needed to see the actual numbers to know that the music industry is in the dumps, but they are shocking nonetheless.
In 1999, total revenue from U.S. music sales and licensing was $14.6 billion, according to Forrester Research. In 2009: $6.3 billion. (Yes, that's a staggering drop of over 50%).
A CNN Money piece also breaks down that album sales have dipped an average of 8% each year from the previous year.
We all know the reasons, but it’s daunting when they are listed all together. Of course, one of the biggest reasons for the decline, according to the article is piracy, followed by the recession, and the digital music business, which many predicted would save the music industry. In case anyone is counting, it was four years between the birth of Napster and the bow of iTunes.
“The digital music business has been a war of attrition that nobody seems to be winning,” David Goldberg, former head of Yahoo Music, told CNN Money. “The CD is still disappearing and nothing is replacing it in entirety as a revenue generator. Indeed, last year’s figures show that digital growth slowed to 2.1% after showing double digit gains for years.
While licensing continues to be a bright spot for the music industry (even if licensing fees have come down for all but the biggest tracks), it’s not enough to stop the decline. The Forrester data predicts that revenues will keep declining through 2014, down to about $5.5 billion.