Statscan Releases Latest Sound Recording Economic Data

Statscan has released its latest data on the state of the recording industry in Canada. The data shows a slight decline in revenues in 2009, but that expenses dropped further, resulting in an increase in operating profit margin to 16.3 percent.  Music publishers experienced increases across the board – more revenue, expenses, and higher profit margin.


  1. Looking for a content industry opinion on the Stats-can numbers?
    In a separate thread I had a conversation with John Degen about this report. His main thought was “Looking at the whole picture, I see what looks like an industry in decline and real people losing their jobs.” I took a look at the numbers, and pointing out that statistics is more art than science, came to a different conclusion. I would be very interested and appreciate it if someone from the content industry would care to comment on my suppositions?

    1) Record production and integrated record production: – Decrease in revenue, decrease in expenses, increase in profitability.

    It looks like there is some industry streamlining going on here. No one can argue that the album is in decline as a format and distribution costs have decreased with digital delivery. Thus one would expect a decrease in labor and infrastructure leading, yes, to lost jobs (sad but not limited to the media sector). This is no different than workers on the assembly line being replaced by more efficient manufacturing processes and a changing market. The key factor here is the increase in profitability, isn’t that what most businesses and stock holders strive for?

    2) Music publishers: – Increasing revenue, increasing expenses, flat profitability.

    Music publishers do not have the same problems as the record producers as they are not as tied to a particular media format (album). In this case revenue has increased, which can only come from increased sales, along with associated expenses. This does not point to an industry in decline, rather one that is operating well in a depressed economy.

    3) Sound recording studios: – On average, flat income, expenses & profitability.

    This result is in line with the two above; that being a decrease in label albums and an increase in song publishing which leads to a neutral over-all impact on the recording studios. One must also factor into that the technology for artists to self produce becoming more affordable and attainable.

    4) Other sound recording industries: – Increased profits, expenses & profitability.

    Not sure what sector this category refers to but it seems to be doing, on the whole, quite well with salaries & wages doubling since 2006. This leads me to suspect we are dealing with emergent entrepreneurs leveraging new technology.

  2. Anyone?
    Hello … is this thing on?