Music Industry in The US is facing continuing uncertainty and decline as 2010 closes.EMI, one of the leading music firms in the United States find itself in still staggering even after it was purchase by a UK based company, Terra Firma Equity.

To counter the decline Terra firma made its desperate move and sued Citigroup, the company’s principal creditor last years. They accused Citigroup of fraudulent inflated sale of EMI. But the jury rejected Terra Firma’s claim last month, and EMI must now brace for the possible sale of its label and publishing assets if Terra Firma defaults and Citigroup takes control.

Meanwhile other Music firms is changing its line up of executives and shuffling them as the heads of the firms change companies.

In January, former Universal Music Group chairman-CEO Lucian Grainge, who has served as co-CEO of UMG with Doug Morris will take solo control amid predictions of layoffs at the long-running industry leader.

It is rumoured that the 72-year-old Morris may move to Sony Music Entertainment as its current CEO Rolf Schmidt-Holtz is expected to exit when his contract expires next year. A top Sony creative exec, RCA/Jive Label Group chairman-CEO Barry Weiss, ankled the division for a job at UMG.

At Warner Music Group, Tom Whalley was swept out as chairman-CEO of flagship Warner Bros. Records after almost a decade, succeeded by an exec team led by new chairman Rob Cavallo, WMG’s former chief creative officer and a top producer.

Album plunge

2004 started the downfall route of music sales. Even on the fourth quarter of 2010, 13% decrease of album sales were reported by to Nielsen SoundScan.
Falling sales of CD market is due to digital downloads that begun in 2010. Illegal downloads are still making the market of CD harder. As piracy plays a huge factor in CD sale decline even as Court orders were release to shut down popular music downloaders such as Limewire.

Values of music also decreased as it is sold virtually through online catalogs. An album worth of $18.98 can be bought for as low as half of its price especially as music are made available through iTunes and

Concerts wobble

Concert business was considered as recession-proof industry in 2010. It is when two major Entertainment companies, concert promotion, venue and management giant Live Nation and ticketing behemoth Ticketmaster merged last January.

However after four months of the merging the touring market collapsed forcing huge production tours from well-known performers and artists where postponed.

Year-end figures cited by Billboard’s live music editor Ray Waddell tracked a 26% decline in North American concert grosses and a 12% decrease in attendance.

At one point in July, Live Nation’s stock, which reached a 52-week high of almost $17, had fallen below $9.

Something ‘Glee’-ful

As music industry suffer loses Fox’s top-rated musical comedy series proved the most reliable sales in 2010. On last week’s domestic album chart, “Glee” titles took two slots in the top 10 and seven in the top 200; two of those sets had been on the chart for more than a year.

Still musical arena is dominated by the mixture of rap, country and pop, leaving rock music behind.Possibly the most troubling symptom at year’s end was the quick burnout of releases by acts with platinum track records.

Even fresh titles by Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts and Kid Rock were delivering weekly totals hovering just above the mid-five-figure range as they last four weeks in music stores.

Pop music including country-pop rule the charts and having no space for rock music in terms of sales. Listeners snapped up songs by Katy Perry, Ke$ha, B.o.B., Lady Gaga, Cee Lo Green and Mike Posner, but Dr. Luke, Red-One and Bruno Mars were the true powers behind these musical thrones.



About the Author: Kim


  1. Brandon Wraith April 23, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    It definitely makes sense that CD sales and concert sales are going further and further down. Piracy via torrents, other similar programs to limewire, saving youtube videos, etc seems to be on the rise. Ipods and phones with music playing capabilities are the kings of the audio output devices. I was never into buying CD’s when I was younger, I only ever purchased a handful of them in my life.

    I hope that nobody is really surprised by this shift, when you can simply make a playlist on youtube and listen through it at the convenience of your computer without being stuck to one genre or band at a time.

    It still has it’s place, but they need to adapt and shift their focus.

    This was a great read, keep up the good work.


  2. Wes May 2, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Thanks Brandon,

    It is true, unfortunately I feel the music industry might have missed the boat when it came to finding better avenue for monetizing music with the ipod and other options that are out there (youtube, iheartradio, pandora). Labels and artist still make great money with publishing rights, so it is not a total loss for the industry, just major revenue losses.

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