What the Music Industry Looked Like On September 11th, 2001

Here’s a snapshot of what the music industry looked like on September 11th, 2001…

1. There were 5 major labels: Warner Music Group, EMI, Sony Music Entertainment, Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG), and Universal Music Group.

2. CDs accounted for 94.5 percent of overall recorded music sales, according to the RIAA.  Cassettes still accounted for roughly 2.5 percent of the total, LPs were roughly 0.2 percent, and album downloads were essentially nonexistent.

3. The labels were on their way to concluding their third-best year ever (the best being 1999), though they were also in the early stages of a decade-plus decline.

4. Napster was just days away from concluding a partial, multi-million dollar damages settlement with major label groups. The application had been shutdown in July.

5. Kazaa was about 6 months old.

6. The iPod was still two months from being announced.  The iTunes Music Store was still about 20 months away.

7. Justin Bieber was 7 years old.  Justin Timberlake was 20.  Daniel Ek was 18.

8. Mariah Carey’s Glitter Soundtrack was released on September 11th.  The movie arrived at theaters a few weeks later.

9. The best-selling album on September 11th was the self-titled release from Aaliyah.  The singer had recently passed on August 25th, 2001.

10. The song with the most spins on radio on September 11th was “I’m Real,” by Jennifer Lopez.

11. Janet Jackson, Sade, Aerosmith, and Dave Matthews Band were dominating the live circuit.  U2 was preparing the North American leg of its Elevation tour, and actually planned the official announcement on September 11th.

12. The top-charting rap single in the US was “Raise Up” by Petey Pablo.  The top-charting country single was “I’m Just Talkin’ About Tonight” by Toby Keith.

13. Launch Media, now owned by Yahoo Music and headed by Danny David Goldberg, was actively expanding its live concert involvement.

25 Responses

  1. Matthew Synder

    Nokia has just launched a successul music product that was positioned to shape the music industry…. called HDR-1 that was one of the first integrations of mobile and phone before the ipod

  2. thegoodolddays

    It was DAVID Goldberg not Danny that was a co-founder of Launch and head of Yahoo!Music…. not that it really matters in 2011:(

    • paul

      Oh, thanks for that correction. Which is also topical, because in 2001, we wouldn’t have realized it until a day later, and someone would called us on the “phone” to tell us.

  3. @KimLGerlach

    Kim Gerlach

    Crazy to think how much has happened in music industry…

  4. @bensenterfit

    Ben Senterfit

    Yup, that’s how it was, and then it wasn’t!

  5. Steve

    Dream Theater’s “Live Scenes From New York” was released on 9/11/2001 with cover artwork that originally depicted the New York City skyline (including the World Trade Center) in flames.

  6. demolisher71

    This doesn’t talk about the filming of Blink 182’s music video! I guess that isn’t exactly significant though.

  7. @Audio4cast

    Rates for webcasters were unsettled, liabilities for streaming were enormous.

    • cipher

      In 1952 I was trying to “cut” my own records..trying to record on a wire recording machine salvaged from a WW2 German submarine.Experimenting with omnidirectional loudspeakers,casting the housing in concrete and fitting in the speakers. (they worked well) Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra were top of the charts. Man, has there been some changes, but then I am rather old.

      cipher.