The last time the music industry made much noise, it was a shrill whining sound that was all about the horrible plight that they were experiencing, given that so many mean, nasty, uncaring people were sharing music, despite the fact that “sharing” is one of those good things that one is supposed to have learned in kindergarten. The consequence of this sharing was that the music companies were claiming that they were losing all kinds of income. The fact that, perhaps, there was more than a little something related to the fact that the music that they were putting out was something less that desirable by as many people as they’d hoped (i.e., they were predicating the busting out of the champers and singing “Happy Days Are Here Again” every time they put out a new disc by groups of individuals that were going to sell a bazillion copies), doesn’t seem to have occurred to them. So instead of performing a little self-analysis (“Um, gee, folks, maybe we screwed up on this one. . .”), they decided that they’d sue. Out went the lawyers from the RIAA, finding all of those mean, nasty deviants who were taking the caviar off the tables of the music executives.
Meanwhile, there were things like iTunes that were selling servers full of music. Yes, selling. And yet the relative density of more than a few people in the music industry was such that they seemed incapable of grasping the implications of that commerce model. It is easier to sue, apparently, than be creative. Never mind that one would assume that being in an industry that is fundamentally based on creativity would necessitate a bit of imagination or cleverness on the parts of those who run it. One can imagine the cries from the glass-and-titanium decked offices, “Head. . .hurts. . .”
With that as prelude, it may come as something of a surprise to many people that according to a recent study from Pricewaterhouse Coopers (1) the global entertainment and media industry, of which the music industry is, of course, a part, is “in its strongest position since 2000,” and (2) that during the next four years there will be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3% so that by 2009 this will be a $1.8-trillion industry.
To be sure, it is worth noting that not all of this is related to the music industry, as it also includes films, books, video games, and other factors. Also, not all of this is related to the U.S. market, presently the largest entertainment and media market, but the slowest-growing region, as it is projected have a CAGR of merely 5.6% so that will reach a pathetic $690 billion by ’09. It will still be the biggest region. Just not growing as fast as, say, Asia/Pacific, which is projected to have an 11.6% CAGR (to $432 billion). Of course, it makes one wonder whether the entertainment and media moguls have taken the treatment of intellectual property in China into account. And they thought Napster was bad.
According to Pricewaterhouse Coopers, in ’04 “the recorded music market finally reversed course and grew by 5.7% to $38 billion.” That’s a lot of American Idol merch. There is an expected 8% CAGR for recorded music in the U.S. through ’09, which will bring the total spend to $18.8 billion, which is a considerable fraction of the global total spend that’s projected to be $56 billion in ’09.
One strikingly pathetic part of this growth in recorded music: Ring tone spending is one of the two (with digital distribution being the other) cited factors accounting for this. All of which seems to indicate just how important high fidelity and the listening experience is to an increasing number of people. Nothing sounds better than something out of a Nokia speaker.
Previously: Ever wonder how much money major label executives make?