Music sales slide not expected to turn around

Will drop from $5.5 bil to $7.3 bil in 2013, eMarketer says

NEW YORK -- The near future appears to hold mainly sour notes for the beleaguered music business, according to eMarketer.

U.S. sales of recorded music will slide to $5.5 billion in 2013, down from $7.3 billion in 2009, eMarketer said. This downward trajectory extends a pattern that began in 2000, when sales of physical sound-carriers began to decline after rising dramatically during the heyday of the CD.

The patterns from the past two years are set to continue: Online music consumption will rise; mobile music stands to slip slightly; and physical unit sales will continue to plummet at an accelerated rate.

Growth in digital formats as a whole (that is, the sum of online and mobile) will not compensate for losses in the realm of physical sales, but it will slow the rate of those losses to a 2.9% drop in 2013.

For marketers, the depressed state of the music business means that labels and artists are more open than ever to creative licensing and branding opportunities.
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