That’s because the music that came out last year was good enough to buy!

2004 CD shipments increase, first gain in six years for Canadian market
TORONTO (CP) – Calling it a “modest” improvement, stores stocked their shelves with more product last year indicating a return by consumers to buying music after six years of decline, the Canadian Recording Industry Association said.
The figures encompass CDs as well as music DVDs, singles and VHS tapes. The total dollar value of sales – what stores paid for the product – was up one per cent, according to numbers released Tuesday by the group. Meanwhile, the total, year-to-date number of shipped units rose five per cent.
The gap between shipments and sales values is attributed to a drop in CD prices last year.
Significant gains came from a 24-per-cent increase in the number of music DVDs shipped to stores. Not surprisingly, shipments of VHS tapes and singles suffered the most, dropping 45 and 40 per cent respectively.
The group, which represents 95 per cent all record labels in Canada, was quick to point out that the numbers are nowhere near levels in the pre-Napster days.
“All we’ve done is steady the ship,” said Graham Henderson, who heads the industry association. “The future looks brighter than it’s ever looked but we can’t forget the cost.”
A total retail market figure, which includes actual sales to consumers, won’t be ready for a few weeks.
But Henderson is optimistic based on reports from stores which indicate people are steadily returning to the cash registers.
He said the increase is due to improved marketing campaigns and blockbuster releases by Usher, Shania Twain, Eminem, Gwen Stefani and U2.
“People are coming back into the stores because they want to support artists and want to buy music . . . but also that Canadians are slowly, but surely, getting the message that there needs to be some sort of sense of fair play,” said Henderson.
Despite Tuesday’s news, he said record labels aren’t anywhere near ready to give people their jobs back or re-sign artists that were dropped because of poor sales.
The figures don’t include online music sales from sites like ITunes and Puretracks. Those numbers haven’t been made public in Canada.