Recording Industry Sees New “Buzz” From Digital Revenues

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The major recording industry association has released its annual report for 2012, announcing a 9 per cent increase in revenues from digital sales of music, with licensed music services on the rise. It also said it benefits most in countries where internet service providers have worked to drive down use of unauthorised music download sites.

“The global recorded music industry is on a path to recovery, fuelled by licensed digital music services and rapid expansion into new markets internationally,” IFPI, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, said in a 26 February release announcing its annual Digital Music Report. “Recorded music is also helping drive a broader digital economy.”

Overall global music revenues were up by 0.3 per cent, to US$16.5 billion, the first year of growth since 1999, it said. The 9 per cent increase in digital revenues consisted of downloads, subscription and advertising.

The 36-page report is available here [pdf].

Rights holders continue to seek help from internet service providers (ISPs) and governments, especially in fighting what they see as unfair competition from unlicensed services and the “continued serious impact of internet piracy.”

“Governments have a key role to play in addressing this problem,” IFPI said. “The key priority remains to secure effective cooperation from intermediaries including advertisers, ISPs and search engines, who have a major influence on levels of copyright infringement.”

“Internet service providers (ISPs) have had a demonstrable effect on levels of copyright infringement on the internet when required to act,” the release said. “For example, in five European countries where ISPs were required by courts to block access to The Pirate Bay (Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Italy and UK), usage levels fell 69 per cent during 2012 (ComScore/Nielsen). By contrast, in countries without the block, traffic rose by 45 per cent over the same period.”

“Our markets remain rigged by illegal free music,” Moore said.

IFPI cited Google as failing to take sufficient measures to block repeat copyright violators, and asked advertisers to pull ads from unlicensed music sites.

William New may be reached at

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