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Appeared on: Friday, March 28, 2003
RIAA: Music shipments down 11.2% in 2002

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) continued to fault piracy and poor economic conditions for waning recorded music shipments, down over 11 percent last year from 2001's total figures, according to the association's recently released year-end statistics.

The statistics, which were compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, pin total music shipments for 2002 at 859.7 million units. CD shipments accounted for 803.3 million units, an 8.9 percent drop from 2001's total of 881.9 million units. Total value fell last year 8.2 percent to $12.61 billion, from $13.74 billion in 2001.

The music video category, which showed promise last year as a restorative product, saw a 17.2 percent decrease in shipments to 14.7 million units from 17.7 million units in 2001. DVD-Video made up for the majority of the category at 10.7 million units.

DVD-Audio albums shipped 400,000 units, a modest increase from 2001's 300,000 units. In comparison, vinyl singles shipped 4.4 million units last year, with vinyl LPs and EPs shipping 1.7 million units.

Record labels continued to curtail cassette shipments, which totaled 31.1 million units in 2002, a 30.9 percent decline from 45 million units in 2001. CD singles also plummeted to 4.5 million units from 17.3 million units in 2001. The cassette single as a format is officially dead, with last year's returns causing the category to register a negative shipment figure of 500,000 units.


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