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. "This past year was a difficult year in the recording industry, and there is no simple explanation for the decrease in sales. The economy was slow, and [Sept. 11] interrupted the fourth-quarter plans, but a large factor contributing to the decrease in overall shipments last year is online piracy and CD-burning."
——Hilary Rosen, President/CEO, RIAA
SALES SLUMP SHAKES INDUSTRY
RIAA: Shipments of Music Fell 10.3% in 2001
The music industry has fallen into the worst sales slump in at least a decade, according to the most recent statistics released by the Recording Industry Association of America.

According to the report, shipments of music products fell a whopping 10.3% in 2001, compared with a decline of 7% a year earlier. The RIAA’s statistics are based on record-label shipments of 968.6 million CDs, cassettes, LPs and music videos, down from 1.08 billion last year. The data measure products shipped to retailers—not actually sold to customers—and distributed through record clubs and mail-order catalogs. For the full report, click here.

CD album shipments fell 6.4% to 882.2 million units, with value down 2.3% to $12.9 billion. Cassette shipments fell 40% to 45.6 million units; value was down 41.9% to $363 million. Vinyl albums showed a slight gain, with unit shipments up 3.7% to 2.3 million and value down slightly to $27.4 million. DVD music video made a big jump during the year, up 138% to 7.9 million units, with value up 137% to $190 million.

RIAA officials cited online piracy and CD-burning as a major factor in the drop off. Recent RIAA surveys of music fans 12 to 54 years old found that 23% said they didn't buy more music last year because they downloaded or copied most of their music for free.

In addition, 50% of those who have downloaded music for free said they had made copies of it, up from 13% two years ago, the RIAA said.

''We cannot ignore the impact on the marketplace,'' said Hilary Rosen, the RIAA's chief executive. "This past year was a difficult year in the recording industry, and there is no simple explanation for the decrease in sales. The economy was slow, and [Sept. 11] interrupted the fourth-quarter plans, but a large factor contributing to the decrease in overall shipments last year is online piracy and CD-burning."

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