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"Latin music is still a growing market, and 2001 sales, while not as strong as previous years, still were very positive compared to the rest of the music industry."
——Hilary Rosen, RIAA chief

RIAA SAYS GRACIAS
FOR LATIN CD SALES

While News Isn’t All Good, What Is These Days?
Sales woes? Decreasing shipments? No habla, Senor. According to numbers just released by the RIAA, whose job it is to point us to the faintest ray of sunshine or hope, wherever it may be, Latin music on CD proved to be a growth area for the business last year, with shipments up 9% over shipments in 2000.

In 2001, 42.3 million Latin music CDs were shipped, compared to 38.8 million CDs shipped in 2000. In dollar value, CDs shipped last year were worth $582.7, versus $515.6 million for 2000—a 13% increase.

That’s the good news. Factor in all formats—including cassettes, DVDs and videocassettes—and the numbers are a little less splashy: Overall shipments of Latin music in all formats actually decreased by about 1% in 2001 (to 48.7 million units from 49.3 million in 2000), thanks to double-digit drops in cassette and video shipments. The RIAA says these declines are due in part to continued physical piracy in the marketplace.

"Latin music is still a growing market, and 2001 sales, while not as strong as previous years, still were very positive compared to the rest of the music industry," said RIAA chief Hilary Rosen in a statement.

"Although the Latin music market is vibrant, it’s not immune to the forces of piracy harming the music industry today, particularly with physical CDs. Over 24 percent of the illegal product we seized in 2001 was from the Latin music genre."

Que Lastima, or Ay Caramba? You decide.