Music Industry Revenue Is Up For First Time Since 1999. This Isn’t All Good News.

It’s a good day here at UPOXX headquarters (imagine pictures of computers drawn in crayon on the side of a cardboard box) as we’ve officially managed to mention Lou Bega twice. First, in Danger’s post about the Goo Goo Dolls and Michael Jackson’s son appearing on 90210, and again for this post, about music industry revenues rising for the first time since 1999, when Smash Mouth’s “All Star” and, yes, “Mambo No. 5” were all the rage. Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, I mean, Lou Bega? Anyway, according to the Hollywood Reporter:

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry reports that global revenue rose 0.3 percent last year to $16.5 billion. Although the revenue bump was modest, the IFPI says that it was the first sign of industry growth since 1999.

Digital income is fueling the economic improvement. Revenue from downloads, subscription and advertising-supported ventures grew 9 percent to $5.6 billion in 2012. The IFPI also reports that the number of people paying to use subscription services leapt 44 percent to 20 million worldwide. (Via)

Translation: people still aren’t buying music the way they used to, but they are subscribing to streaming services like Spotify and Rdio, which helps things out a smidge, although not for the artists, really.

Another study out Tuesday from the NPD Group said that music file sharing declined “significantly” in 2012.

The NPD Group estimates from consumer surveys that 11 percent of Internet users ages 13 and older used P2P services to download music in 2012. That’s down from one in five Internet users who were downloading at the P2P peak in 2006. It’s also a steady trend. Last year, for example, NPD reported that 13 percent of Internet users were downloading music from P2P.

As for volume, NPD says there was a 26 percent decline in illegally downloaded music. Music consumers also are shifting their habits even on legal music sharing. Music files burned and ripped from CDs owned by friends and family fell 44 percent and music downloads from digital lockers decreased 28 percent. (Via)

Again, this is good news for the music industry as a whole, but despite an occasional blip like Adele, we’re never going to return to the halcyon days of the late 1990s, when Shania Twain’s Come On Over sold over 20 million copies…in the United States alone. Bands earn their money through their songs being used in commercials and touring, and the merchandise that’s sold while touring, so while the reports above are encouraging, in the long run, they don’t really mean anything for musicians. Except to Lou Bega, who’s just happy to get the Google Alert.

(Via Hollywood Reporter)