Manage for Success: Welcome 2012, Newsletter #121, January 2012

"Manage for Success" is a free monthly newsletter for record label executives who want to operate their companies efficiently and successfully. It's published by Keith Holzman of Solutions Unlimited, a management consultant, troubleshooter, and trusted advisor, and is based on his many years as a senior executive in the music industry.

Copyright 2012 by Keith Holzman, Solutions Unlimited. All rights reserved.



As we give a wholehearted welcome to 2012, let's take a quick look at the "numbers" for last year as derived from Billboard and SoundScan.

2011 wasn't at all bad. In fact the year saw a gain in total U.S. music sales of 6.9 percent -- 1.6 billion units last year against 1.51 billion in 2010. This is the first year-over-year gain since 2004!

US Album Sales were up 1.3 percent to 330.6 million units, Digital Track Sales were up 8.5 percent to 1.27 billion, Track Albums plus Track Equivalent Albums were up 3.2 percent to 457.7 million.

Digital Albums were up 19.5 percent to 103.1 million units, but sales of CDs, bless them, were unfortunately down 5.7 percent to 223.5 units.

Catalog sales were up 9 percent to 151.2 million, but Current Albums were off 4 percent at 122.65 million.

There was also a slight increase in the quantity of New Releases -- up 2.2 percent to 76,875. 13 albums each sold 1 million or more as did 112 individual tracks.


Rock -- up 1.9 percent at 105.7 million units.

R&B -- down 4.2 percent to 55.4 million

Country -- down 1.8 percent to 42.9 million

Latin -- down 4.3 percent to 118 million

Christian/Gospel -- down 2.0 percent to 23.7 million

Rap (included in R&B) -- up 3.3 percent to 28.3 million

Jazz -- up 26.1 percent to 11.1 million

Electronic/Dance -- up 15 percent to 10 million

Overall Market Share for 2011:

Universal Music Group -- 29.9 percent

Sony Corp -- 29.3

Warner Music Group -- 19.1

EMI Group -- 9.6

Indies -- 12.1

All told, not a bad year, and at least there were a few gains that really mattered. Now if we could just stem the loss in CD sales during 2012, a lot of us would be happier.

Until next time,

Keith Holzman -- Solutions Unlimited

Helping Record Labels Manage for Success.


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Copyright 2012 by Keith Holzman, Solutions Unlimited. All rights reserved.