People Still Buy Music: No, seriously, people bought more music in 2012
The record business might actually be on a bit of an upswing, if two new studies are any indication. According to the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry, global music revenues rose .3 percent last year, to about $16.5 billion. That change might seem kind of piddling, but it's the first genuine upward movement since 1999. The same study also says that subscription service use is up, with about 20 million people (Out of 7 billion, but who’s counting?) paying regularly to stream music online.
In another study released this week, the NPD Group (whatever that is) found that music file sharing declined “significantly” in the past year, with only 11 percent of Internet users above the age of 13 seeking out music illegally online. That’s down from 13 percent in 2011 and a peak of 20 percent in 2006. The amount of music that's actually available for illegal download also declined by about 26 percent, thanks in part to the shutdown of services like MegaUpload and the industry’s crackdown on sites like Mediafire.