It is certainly no secret that the music industry has been on the decline for well over a decade. The last time that music sales peaked were in 1999-2000 -- which was, coincidently enough, the same years when Lars Ulrich and Metallica were decrying copyright infringement upon the recently established Napster, Inc. While the music industry has grappled with the rapidly changing digital landscape and their music's place within the overly accessible new world, it seems that the tides characterized by music piracy and dwindling record sales may in fact be changing.
According to statistics gathered from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, music sales saw their first gain in 2012 -- albeit the increase clocked in at only a third of a percent up to $16.5 billion. The gains can be attributed to a very strong year for digital sales. 2012 saw digital revenue increase to 34 percent of the industry's overall income, raking in $5.6 billion. This is in comparison to physical sales which accounted for 58 percent of revenue -- down from 61 percent in 2011.
Built off the back of 2012's mainstream hit artists such as Adele, Taylor Swift and Lana Del Rey, the industry also saw a heavy adoption of streaming services as well as a wide expansion of record labels into global markets. While it is still debatable as to exactly how much this means to the industry, it would appear that for the first time in years, an age old giant is beginning to see the benefits of playing the digital game.
Source: Rolling Stone