Music industry posts first revenue growth in 13 years

The Hollywood Reporter posts news of two studies that bring good news to the beleaguered industry, perhaps for the first time since the dawn of Napster.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry reports that global revenue rose 0.3 percent last year to $16.5 billion, a modest bump that represents the first sign of industry growth since 1999. Predictably, the increase was fueled by a 9 percent growth in digital sales, with subscription services reporting a 44 percent increase in membership.

The good news is two-fold: the NPD Group estimates that 11 percent of Internet users ages 13 and older used peer-to-peer services to download music in 2012, down from one in five Internet users during the 2006 peak of illegal downloading. While the estimate is based on consumer surveys, it follows a trend that began last year. Additionally, NPD reports a 26 percent decline in the volume of illegally downloaded music.

As she did for XL Recordings, Adele continues to buoy the industry. Despite being released in 2011, 21 sold 8.3 million units last year, well ahead of Taylor Swift’s 5.2 million units of Red.



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