Diminished disposable incomes during the recession combined with competition from free digital substitutes for sheet music have reduced spending on the industry.
Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) December 14, 2011
According to a latest report from IBISWorld, easier access to legitimate sheet music online will facilitate industry sales by increasing the selection and accessibility for consumers. Publishers that are best able to protect their sheet music from piracy, while successfully selling digital products, will benefit from diminished production costs in this transition. Online potential for sheet music is expected to be a driver for stronger industry performance. Yet, free services, including lyric sites, karaoke on YouTube, instructional videos and music sharing are threatening this potential. Industry associations, like the Music Publishers' Association and the National Music Publishers Association, will have increasing workloads in shutting down websites that violate copyrights. For this reason, industry research firm IBISWorld has added a report on the Sheet Music industry to its growing Books & Education report collection.
According to IBISWorld analyst, Agata Kaczanowska, over the past five years, several trends have dented the Musical Publisher’s industry revenue. “Diminished disposable incomes during the recession combined with competition from free digital substitutes for sheet music have reduced spending on the industry,” says Kaczanowska. Lower disposable income limited not only consumer spending but also religious organizations' and private educators' demand for sheet music. Online sales also enabled consumers to shop around for the cheapest sheet music, further hampering revenue during this time. Additionally, limited government funding for education, particularly the arts, has contributed to revenue declines. Reduced government funding has limited appropriations toward music programs and driving down educator spending on sheet music. As a result of these trends, IBISWorld estimates that industry revenue fell at a 3.9% annualized pace to $339.1 million in the five years to 2011.
Consumers have been increasingly using digital alternatives to sheet music. Not only is digital sheet music instantly available, but it is also free. If publishers are able to effectively crack down on copyright infringement, it will limit consumer access to pirated versions of sheet music and draw revenue back into the industry. Then, Sheet Music industry associations that lobby for company rights to protect copyrighted products, like the Music Publisher's Association, will become increasingly important to sheet music publishers. This move will require significant investment, though, and so the major companies will be best able to cover such costs. Also, such companies are already selling digital copies of sheet music online in order to better compete with alternative substitutes. Consequently, the number of companies in the industry is forecast to drop over the next five years by 2016. According to IBISWorld, the Sheet Musical Publisher industry is fairly concentrated because several companies have acquired the rights to extensive sheet music collections. Concentration significantly increased most recently when Alfred Music Group acquired Warner Music Publishing. Music Sales Corp. is another major player which originated as a classical sheet music publisher.
As disposable income rebounds in the coming years, publisher efforts to draw consumers back into the fold are expected to become increasingly successful. Nonetheless, this growth will only balance out the limited funding expected for music programs as governments crunch down on the deficit in the next several years. Consequently, IBISWorld projects stagnant revenue growth in the five years to 2016.
For more information, including latest industry trends, statistics, analysis and market share information, download the full report from IBISWorld on the Sheet Music Industry.
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