We have just published our annual music forecast for 2009-2014 for the US market. Recorded music revenues for the year 2009 are expected to close at $6.3 billion (not including ring tones and ring backs). That's down 13 percent from the year before. The outlook for the near future is not too bright either. Recorded music revenues will continue to decline before settling at around $5.5 billion in 2012.

Some other highlights of the forecast are – 

  • We are still bullish on subscriptions and think that the category will grow both in terms of number of subscribers and revenue in 2010 and beyond.
  • 2010 will be also be a better year than 2009 for the digital download market but its growth rate will be on a downward trajectory thereafter.

It is no secret that the industry has stepped up its efforts to diversify its revenue streams in the last few years. Licensing to digital music services (MySpace, Youtube) and performance royalties from Internet radio are thus becoming an important source of revenue for the industry. We have therefore included revenues from digital music licensing in this year’s forecast report.

Bottom line for digital music licensing is this – revenue from digital music licensing will be a decent amount  but it will be nowhere near filling the hole in the revenue from recorded music created between now and 2014.