Monday, August 07, 2006

CDs will remain the main format

CDs will remain the main format

In commercial terms, music certainly generates a higher market value than the other arts, although a comprehensive market size for music in all its manifestations is impossible to calculate. Key Note has put a value of £3.03bn on consumer spending on music in 2005, derived from three sectors: recorded music ( which accounts for the bulk of the market ), live music and musical instruments. However, data for other related markets are included, such as equipment for home listening and viewing.

Amateur participation in music is on the increase generally and one in five adults describe music as their 'main hobby'. However, despite the interest in music, only 18% of adults go to concerts regularly, and Key Note believes there is great potential for the live music market. Encouragement for live events comes from public funders, such as the Art Councils, although funding is biased towards the more intellectual or minority types of music ( classical, jazz and world music ).

In mainstream music, recording and marketing are now dominated by just four 'majors' worldwide, one of which is the UK's own giant record company, EMI Group PLC. The other majors are Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group, based in the US, and Sony BMG, a Japanese/German joint venture only created in 2004.

One of EMI's major strengths is its historic catalogue of recordings — and copyrights — which includes The Beatles and many other enduring acts of the last century. Although the music headlines tend to be dominated by new artists — for example, the Arctic Monkeys, whose first album shot to number one in 2006 — the fact is that most people's music tastes are fairly conservative and are rooted in the music they grew up with. Key Note's survey of artists that the public would take to a 'desert island' was topped by Abba, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and Madonna, although Beethoven came fifth.

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