“Gift vouchers for digital music tracks are helping to boost the growth of digital music in the U.S., a senior executive for Universal Music Group, or UMG, a unit of Vivendi Universal, told Dow Jones Newswires Thursday,” Jessica Hodgson reports for Dow Jones Newsletters. “Larry Kenswil, President of Universal’s eLabs unit, with overall responsibility for Universal’s new technology operations, said: ‘In the U.S. there’s been fantastic gift card download sales.’ UMG is the world’s largest music company by sales. Kenswil said the ‘seasonal’ nature of digital sales had taken executives at Universal by surprise. ‘Towards the middle of last year we were wondering if the digital revolution was over. But after the holiday season sales really picked up as a result of gift cards.’ Kenswil said gift cards were helping to introduce digital music to a generation of consumers who hadn’t previously experimented with the format.”
“The recorded music industry is beginning to recover from five years of falling revenues, caused largely piracy and the growth of unauthorized file-sharing Internet networks. However, the recent success of services such as iTunes and other music download services is seen by analysts as helping the music industry to recover,” Hodgson reports.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Note: Why Universal execs are surprised by the seasonal nature of music sales is anybody’s guess. What, they don’t have enough decades of music sales data with which to allay their surprise? Such foolishness. Also, the full article, for some reason (misguided political correctness or something), attempts to include the piddling also-ran online outfits, but make no mistake: Apple’s iTunes Music Store has around 90% of the market in the U.S now. Apple’s iTunes Music Cards are the gift cards that are boosting sales. That fact bodes well for Steve Jobs as he negotiates another round of contracts with the “greedy” music labels.
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Report: music labels on verge of abandoning demand for variable pricing on Apple iTunes Music Store – April 20, 2006
EMI, Vivendi Universal music sales rise dramatically on Apple iTunes Music Store downloads – April 20, 2006
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Global digital music sales tripled in 2005 thanks to Apple’s iTunes Music Store – March 31, 2006
Apple’s iTunes+iPod market dominance underscored with more than 1 billion songs sold – February 24, 2006
Nielsen NetRatings: Apple iTunes Music Store visits grew 241% in 2005 – January 23, 2006
Record 20 million tracks downloaded from iTunes, others in week after Christmas – January 09, 2006
Apple CEO Steve Jobs to repel ‘greedy’ record companies’ demands for higher iTunes prices – September 21, 2005