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"Last year was a mixed picture for the global recording industry. We saw the first evidence of the impact of free online music, as well as the damage being done by unauthorized CD copying."
——IFPI Chairman Jay Berman

GLOBAL MUSIC SALES DECLINE

Blame Falls On Everyone’s Favorite Scapegoat—And We’re Not Talkin’ About Bill Buckner
With music fans flocking more and more to free online options, such as Napster, global music sales declined last year, according to Reuters.

According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, world music sales dropped 1.3% to $36.9 billion in 2000, despite overall improved album sales and a more upbeat performance from Europe—the continent, not the ‘80s hair band.

"Last year was a mixed picture for the global recording industry," said IFPI Chairman Jay Berman. "We saw the first evidence of the impact of free online music, as well as the damage being done by unauthorized CD copying."

Also blamed for the drop in sales was the U.S. economic downturn and the fading importance of the single. Single sales slumped 46% in the U.S.—14% worldwide—which the IFPI blamed on free online music sites and, partially, hoof-and-mouth disease.

"Significant progress was made toward realizing the huge potential of the legitimate online music market," Berman said. "And by legitimate, I mean that the mommies and daddies were married."

Last year’s performance compares to a more healthy 1999, which saw global music sales rise 1.5% to $38.5 billion, following the fifth straight year of U.S. growth. Of course, 1999 also saw Angelina Jolie win a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, so go figure.

The IFPI compiles music industry sales figures twice a year based on data gathered from its 1,400 music companies in 70 countries around the world. It also hosts a delightful bake sale and game night for singles—the people, not the failing format. When not busy counting international sales, the IFPI also fights crime.

 

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