$17 Billion: What the Global Recording Industry Is Worth Today

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The banks of the recording industry continued to erode in 2009, according to the latest data from the IFPI.

The global trade group noted that ‘trade revenues’ declined 7.2 percent last year to $17.03 billion, while physical assets tanked another 12.7 percent to $11.93 billion.  The figures were disclosed in the annual ‘Recording Industry In Numbers’ report.

Driving the nosedive were two colossal markets.  The United States dipped 10.7, while Japan slipped 10.8 percent.  Collectively, the pair accounted for roughly 80 percent of the broader revenue decline.  Markets like Spain and Italy suffered far sharper percentage drops.

Number-tweaking produced a few bright spots.  According to the group, digital sales offset physical declines in the UK, India, South Korea, Thailand, Mexico and Australia, though that calculation can be misleading.  In decimated markets like Mexico, the comparison means little.  And in almost all territories, digital formats are failing to recover what physical once commanded.

The bigger picture raises questions about the future of recording-specific revenues.  In 2000, total industry revenues topped $36.9 billion, according to the IFPI.  The past decade has witnessed a 53.8 percent drop.