Ambivalence About CD Sales Figures [10:38 pm]
“We’re still suffering as an industry,” said Monte Lipman, the president of Universal Records, whose artists include the rapper Nelly and rock group 3 Doors Down.
And yet, it has been hard to ignore signs of a rebound. First-week sales of Ms. Jones’s new album were only part of the industry’s good news for seven-day period that ended Feb. 15. Through that period, the most recent for which data are available, album sales for the beginning of 2004 were up 13 percent from the comparable period of 2003, according to Nielsen SoundScan, which tracks music sales.
[...] While the music labels have tended to blame Internet music sharing and CD copying for the slump of the last three years, the industry’s critics have cited high CD prices and substandard music as the real reasons that annual album sales fell to 687 million units by last year, down by almost 100 million units, or 12.5 percent, from 2000.
Whatever caused the slump, it has forced the industry to try new marketing tactics, said Will Botwin, the president of Sony’s Columbia Records Group. [...]
[...] With the industry insisting that piracy remains a serious enough problem to warrant lawsuits, it might not make good public relations sense for executives to crow about a turnaround in sales.