There's a creepy subtext to the sunny outlook for the media in the latest edition of merchant bank Veronis Suhler Stevenson's Communications Industry Forecast. The bottom line is that the average person will shell out $885 to be informed and entertained in 2006, up 22% from this year. And the amount of time someone will spend watching, listening to or reading media that year will grow by 5% to 3,785 hours -- more than 10 hours a day (double counting time spent multitasking).
Music will continue to hit a sour note.
People will buy fewer albums, with unit sales down 13.5% to 846 million. They'll also spend a lot less time listening. The average person will devote 195 hours to recorded music in 2006, down from 238 last year.
That means record companies and retailers won't be able to get away with the big price increases they've been able to make over the last few years. While CD prices won't fall, they won't increase as fast. Discs will cost about $15.22 in 2006, up from $14.69 now.
But Kivijarv says this picture may be incomplete: ''There's no data I feel comfortable with about how much music is downloaded.''
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