Year-end Report: Record Labels Not Doing So Well

Photo: Courtesy of Microsoft Excel 2003 Standard Edition

2007 was truly another bang-up year for the failing music business, with album sales down an impressive 15.3 percent from the industry's already-pretty-crappy 2006. Even worse were the numbers for the four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which fell 20 percent from last year. And with untold millions of iPods sold this holiday season, and countless former CD buyers discovering the joys of BitTorrent, the outlook for record labels is pretty grim. Terra Firma, the private-equity firm which, hilariously, bought major label EMI for $7.9 billion last August, is reportedly slashing its budget this year in a wacky bid to turn a profit by eliminating jobs and marketing plans instead of, you know, actually selling music.

Will this be the year that CD sales get so bad that Best Buy and Wal-Mart decide they're no longer worth the shelf space? Unless Josh Groban can record a dozen more Christmas albums really fast, it just might be!

EMI faces tighter budgets [FT]
Music business ends year on another weak note [Reuters]