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This post started as a status that I posted on Facebook a couple of days ago. There’s no doubt that the future of music is digital. I’m a firm believer that physical music is the past, and that in upcoming years the majority of money will be made from outlets OUTSIDE of song/album sales. I also believe that the role major labels play in the development and promotion of new talent will continue to decrease as independent artists find the investors needed to compete on a major level. More and more artists will keep a large part of the income they generate without having to give a major label the lion’s share of his/her earnings.

With that being said, there’s still a LARGE market for physical music. The future of music is digital, but the present music industry still sees plenty of physical copies being sold.

Citing ‘IFPI Recording Industry in Numbers‘ we see that; “Global recorded music sales totaled $16.5 billion in 2012. Despite its 5% fall in trade revenue, physical STILL accounts for 57% of global recorded music sales, down from 60% in 2011. Digital now makes up 35% of global market (up from 33%)……..

In the global rankings, the U.S. retains the top position with sales totaling $4.48 billion…….U.S. physical sales in 2012 totaled $1.53 billion in trade value (down from $1.84 billion in 2011), accounting for 34% of the domestic market, U.S. digital sales totaled $2.60 billion (up from $2.34 billion), accounting for 58% of the market. Performance rights totaled $161 million (up from $130 million) accounting for 4% of total recorded music revenues in the U.S……….U.S. sync revenue was $191 million in 2012, up from $187 million in 2011, representing 4% market share.”

58% Digital
+ 34% Physical
+  4% Performance Rights (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, SoundExchange)
+  4% Sync Revenue (TV, Movies, etc.)
= 100% of total U.S. music sales

Recap: $4.48 BILLION dollars was made offa music in the US alone last year. $1,530,000,000 out of that was physical sales! Americans spent 1 Billion, 530 Million dollars on physical copies of music!!!

So while we all understand that the future of music is digital, whether downloads or streaming. There’s still over a BILLION dollars out there that consumers are willing to spend on physical copies of music. If you can find a way to get a small piece of this money – you’re well on the way to living your dreams.

Consider this a lesson from a student of the game. #NumbersDontLie

Tony Guidry is Senior Marketing Manager for A Scratchy Throat.
A Scratchy Throat – the brainchild of music industry mainstay Wendy Day – provides professional social media marketing specifically designed for today’s aspiring artists

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