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Believe It Or Not, The Music Industry Is Growing

Chris Anderson has compiled stats showing that, if declines in CD sales are set aside, every other aspect of the music industry is growing.

* Concerts and merchandise +4%
* Digital tracks +46%
* Ringtones +86% last year, but single-digit growth this year
* Licensing for commercials, TV shows, movies and games. Warner Music saw licensing grow $20 million last year.
* Vinyl singles sales more than doubled in the UK
* If you include iPods in the music industry, as Anderson argues we should, they are up 31% this year

Only CD’s which with mp3 player sales included make up 25% of the music industry (60% without) were down 18% last year.

I’m not sure I agree with Anderson’s assertion that portable players are a part of the music industry. It’s a bit like saying refrigerators re part of the farm economy.

But in every other way the message is crystal clear. In Music 2.0 and beyond record companies must become music companies to survive. New models are emerging. Madonna and Live Nation is but one example. Bold innovation is being rewarded. Just look at Radiohead.

The major labels have the resources, but do they have the will? And beyond low risk partnerships with the artist what real innovation do we see at the indies?