Our lead feature looks beyond the IFPI’s global sales numbers for 2012. Revenues may have gone up for the first time since 1999 (albeit by 0.3%), but the business is not out of the woods yet. In some markets (Norway, Sweden) the over-indexing of streaming was the biggest driver, but digital’s role as a revenue panacea in other territories is still some way off. On top of this, the implosion of HMV means that this year is going to be one of the toughest yet for the UK where many towns and cities will have to face the prospect of no music chains on the high street – a situation that digital is going to find very difficult to cauterise. Our country focus is the Netherlands. It may still be struggling to plug the gap caused by the decline in physical sales, but signs of regeneration are visible and it could soon follow the lead of Norway and Sweden and see digital fuel significant growth. We also look at this year’s Mobile World Congress and consider what it means for the music business. On the surface, the fact that music was an extremely minor part of the event may be [...]

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