REPORT SAYS GLOBAL MUSIC SALES WILL BE FLAT IN ’05

Slight Gain Seen to Counter Slight Loss in ’04, as Video Drives Growth in Future Years
In a new report titled “Global Music Forecasts,” business research company Informa said Monday that global music sales, including video, fell 1% in 2004—to $32.1 billion from $32.4 billion a year before—but that sales in 2005 are likely to make up that ground, leaving the market essentially flat.

Informa says sales of audio recordings fell last year by 2.9% to $29.4 billion, but that video sales rose by 26.3% to $2.7 billion. For the coming year, the company believes that audio sales will remain unchanged, but that video sales, primarily music DVDs will increase by another 17.6%, yielding an overall 1% bump for the global market.

From 2005 to 2010, the report says sales of music video products will likely continue to grow at an average rate of 9.4%, reaching $4.9 billion in 2010. Audio-only products, on the other hand, are expected to see slower growth, driven mainly by online sales.

Online music sales, of course, have yet to make a big contribution, standing at 0.9% of music revenues last year, according to the report. By 2010, Informa expects online sales will account for 8.8% of the global market, which will by that time be worth $38.7 billion annually.

Continuing campaigns illegal file-sharers and the projected growth of the music-video sector are two reasons the company gives for the market’s overall growth.

Additionally, the report projects that both China and Russia, currently plagued with high levels of piracy, will see substantial levels of legitimate sales growth by the end of the forecast period.
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