Reportedly, for the first time since 1999 the music industry has actually shown an increase in profits by a margin of 0.3 percent -- about $16.5 billion. According to The New York Times, digital sales of music are responsible for the industry's "recovery."
For years, the music industry's decline looked terminal, with the record companies seemingly unable to come up with digital business models that could compete with the lure of online piracy. Last year, however, digital sales and other new sources of revenue grew significantly enough to offset the continuing decline in CD sales.
"At the beginning of the digital revolution it was common to say that digital was killing music," said Edgar Berger, chief executive of the international arm of Sony Music Entertainment. Now, he added, it could be said "that digital is saving music."
Digital revenue comes in a variety of forms. Sales of downloaded singles and albums, from services like Apple's iTunes, continue to grow. More promising for the industry, however, are subscription-based offerings, including Spotify, Rhapsody and Muve Music. The number of subscribers to services like these grew by 44 percent last year, to 20 million, the federation said.
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