Of course, the companies still aren't happy. Their complaints seem to centre on two things: the single market is still doing really badly, and their profits have taken a dive due to high discounting. There's not too much to say about singles that I haven't said before; they're a dying market and even if the Internet went dead tomorrow, I'm not sure that single sales would increase all that much. The profit complaint, however, is a little disingenuous. The BBC article says that album prices have fallen to £9.79 as a result of price reductions. From today's interest rates, this is roughly $15.50. When I was living in Chapel Hill, the albums I bought varied in price from $12.99 to $15.99. The front page of fye.com (personally, I'd recommend Schoolkids or CDAlley, but they don't have prices on their websites to illustrate the point) shows that many new releases are being sold for prices as low as $11.99. So I can't feel too sorry for the industry, as the decline in profit only shows that they're not gouging the UK market quite as much as they did in the past.
in the future
Home Taping Is Killing The Music Industry (Part 234)
The record industry's constant carping about the dangers of the EVIL INTERNET PIRATES today received a small setback, at least here in the UK. It turns out that 228 million albums were sold from June 2002-3, a 3% increase on the year before, and an industry record. Huzzah!