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The Music Industry in the Digital Age - 4/29/15

The advent of the Internet has disrupted the operations of many industries, including retail trade, newspapers and communications.  One economic segment that stands out in terms of being impacted by the Internet is the music industry, often negatively. 

The global market for recorded music declined slightly in twenty fourteen to just under fifteen billion dollars, down zero point four percent from the year prior according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.  While overall sales were down, revenue from downloads and online streaming approached six point nine billion last year, up seven percent from the year before.  As reported in the New York Times and in the federation’s report, sales of online music matched those of compact discs and other physical formats for the first time. 

Despite the fact that online sales are climbing, the disruption caused to other music formats by the availability of streaming and other services appears to have dampened overall revenue growth.  Revenue for record labels around the world has remained relatively stable at between fifteen and sixteen billion dollars in recent years, but that falls well short of the industry’s peak in nineteen ninety nine, when industry revenues approached twenty seven billion dollars.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.