Nielsen SoundScan reported that, as of last Sunday, unit sales reached 665.5 million for 2004. That represents a modest 1.4% increase over the same period 2003. The industry has one more week of sales left before getting a final tally for the year, the WSJ reported.
This increase reflects, more than anything the industry has done, a generally improving economy, along with a few breakout CDs. Much of the industry, however, remains mird in a creative drought of sorts.
Further, the music industry is not competing well with other digital entertainment media. A survey by the Stanford Institute for the Quantitative Study of Society (reported yesterday in the NYT) noted how the internet was cutting Into TV viewing.
While any sales increase is welcome, the final number will ultimately be a dissapointment after the fast start to the year. The first half of 2004 saw album sales up 8% gains from the prior year.
The WSJ noted that "Music companies have tried to capitalize on the DVD boom, although for the moment, they can’t keep pace with movie and television-program sales. Not one of the top 40-selling DVD titles, according to Nielsen VideoScan, is a music title."
Once again, we see a floundering industry unable to make positive moves in the right direction. Oh well, at least the bleeding has stopped.
Sales of U.S. Music Albums Spin Slightly Faster
The Wall Street Journal, December 31, 2004; Page A8
Internet Use Said to Cut Into TV Viewing and Socializing
NYT December 30, 2004