If I had $17 billion, I’d be the happiest ex-newswriter on earth (unless I was given the comedically-expectant stipulation that I had to spend it all in some unfortunately short period of time, I guess). But then again, I’m just one simple man. I’m not the Recording Industry, and I don’t routinely eat bowls of of emeralds for breakfast with diamond tooth implants.
As Digital Music News reported recently, the Recording Industry’s pockets continued to leak in 2009, according to the latest data from the, uh, International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (yes, this is a real thing). The global trade group reported a 7.2% decline in trade revenues last year, down to just over $17 billion. But that ain’t all. Physical assets also plummeted another 12.7% to $11.93 billion. Goodbye precious stones for breakfast; hello limestone quarry.
The IFPI shows that the US and Japan were the nations doing the most damage, with the United States slipping 10.7% and Japan tanking 10.8%. Collectively, the pair accounted for roughly 80% of the decline. Among nations whose contribution to the whole picture is a bit smaller, the scene was not quite as drastic. Smaller markets like Spain and Italy suffered far sharper percentage drops than the US and Japan, and digital sales actually offset the declines in physical sales in places like the UK, India, South Korea, Thailand, Mexico, and Australia.
But wait, don’t not turn that anti-frown upside down just yet. In almost all territories, digital formats are failing to recover what physical once commanded. And besides, The Big Picture still raises questions aplenty about the future of recording-specific revenues. In 2000, total industry revenues topped $36.9 billion. That means that the past decade has witnessed a 53.8% decline. So yeah, don’t worry; everything’s pretty terrible still. Anyone know where you can pawn some diamond teeth?