Can Apple Save the Music Industry?

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Digital services led by Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes have finally pulled the global music industry out of a rut, with revenue showing growth last year for the first time since 1999. Overall industry revenue grew 0.3 percent to $16.5 billion in 2012, a tiny but long-awaited reverse to the 40 percent fall it has seen since its 1999 peak.

“It’s clear that 2012 saw the global recording industry moving onto the road to recovery,” said Frances Moore from International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, which released the revenue report on Tuesday. “There’s a palpable buzz in the air that I haven’t felt for a long time.”

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The physical music market, which includes vinyl records, CDs, DVDs, etc. lost $500 million in revenue between 2011 and 2012, and Moore conceded that the little growth was to be credited to the digital transformation, with the industry having finally “adapted to the Internet world.”

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