Toronto, Canada (May 7, 2007)--Following the largest ever annual decline in Canada's music market--a 12 percent drop from 2005 to 2006--sales of CDs, music DVDs and other physical music formats fell an unprecedented 35 percent in the first quarter of 2007 compared with the same period a year earlier, the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) reported.
This comes on top of an almost unbroken string of declines since the widespread advent of unauthorized file-swapping in 1999 and the proliferation of CD and music DVD counterfeiting in recent years, according to the CRIA. Digital music sales, estimated at about 6 percent of the Canadian market in 2006, are falling far short of replacing lost CD and DVD sales.
"We've experienced sizeable short-term drops before, but nothing compares to the drastic numbers we're seeing so far this year," said CRIA president Graham Henderson. He cited the decline as a "wake-up call" for the federal government to rein in Canada's burgeoning black market.
The impact of shrinking sales is being felt in almost every corner of the music business, by Canadian and foreign artists, music labels of all sizes, retailers and their employees. For example, CD album sales by Canadian artists fell 7 percent in 2006 compared with 2005, according to Nielsen SoundScan's tracking of Canada's top 200 albums. Top 200 CD album sales by all artists dropped 9 percent. Such declines have forced Canada's music industry to reduce its workforce by approximately half since 1999.
The CRIA is calling upon the federal government to update the Copyright Act to protect artists and other creators of intellectual property from the unauthorized dissemination of their work on the internet. The organization is also calling for government policies to deter counterfeiting, including measures to curb imports of counterfeit products and tougher laws and enforcement against manufacturing and retailing of pirated goods in Canada.
Canadian Recording Industry Association