Global Music Sales To Fall 16 Percent By 2009, Digital To Blame: Report

A new report from research firm Enders Analysis forecasts global music sales will fall to $23 billion in 2009 – 16 percent below last year’s sales and about half the 1997 peak of $45 billion. An unidentified record company exec quoted in the FT sounds like King Canute: “The death of the CD was predicted 10 years ago, but they are still being sold. Young people are still entering the music industry and are still joining the big record companies.” Enders says “the labels’ business model is at a very uncomfortable juncture”, though, curiously, predicts the drop-off in CD sales will slow in 2010 as MP3 player penetration plateaus. Some context — the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry reported 2006 digital download sales doubled to $2 billion, but that this growth would slow and the “holy grail” of digital overtaking CD sales would not yet be reached.