Business & Finance

Music industry notes fall on sales, blames online piracy for woes


The overall music industry revenues fell last year to $16.2 billion from $16.7 billion the year before, although revenues from digital music went up by eight percent to $5.2 billion.

Record industry body International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) issued the figures on Monday which bared a three percent drop in sales of record labels. Yet, industry players expressed optimism for a turnaround in 2013.

“I think 2013 is probably a safe bet,” said Rob Wells, president of global digital business at Universal Music Business Group told the media during an IFPI briefing in London.

Wells said that the future for music industry still looked bright, but warned that “great effort needs to be put on the piracy problem that still exists.”

Based on IFPI estimates, around 28 percent of the world’s current 2 billion internet users access unauthorized services and a significant number of which could be illegally downloading pirated music.

Meanwhile, the US government ordered last week the shutting down of file-sharing website,, which stands accused of facilitating unauthorized downloads of copyrighted materials.

The order also came at the heels of intense online discussions in various social media forums which generated whirlwind of opposition to the proposed legislative measures, Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) which are being pushed in the U.S. Congress.

Backed by movie and music industry giants, the draft bills would have strengthened policies and penalties on Internet piracy and content theft, but Internet heavyweights including Google and Facebook claimed the bills would lead to censorship.

Jon Mills

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