Phew! Record Industry Not Totally Failing, Only Kind Of

It seems things weren’t so apocalyptically bad for the music industry this summer. According to Billboard stats analyzed by music biz blog Coolfer, album sales have been steadily increasing these past few months as compared to earlier this year. Of course, year to date sales are still down about 10.8%, but that’s more than a percent less than they were earlier this year. In general, things are a little more stable this year than last—a fact that probably has something to do with Coldplay’s Viva la Vida, which sold 316,000 copies in the U.S. alone when it was released on June 17 before going platinum early last month.

According to the cats at Coolfer, a drop of only 10% “is not akin to falling off a cliff.” It’s, in fact, quite “manageable”—that is, as long as digital album sales continue to increase by 30% as they have so far this year. Though one wonders how much longer an industry in which a 10% sales decline of its premier product is thought of as “manageable” can continue to be, shall we say, “profitable.”

In related news, Bloomingdale’s (of all places) is getting into the music biz too. (There’s never been a better time, folks.) The department store is launching “an elaborate campaign” in partnership with Gibson guitars, Steinway pianos, and Sony Music, featuring print ads, emails, catalogs, even window displays revolving around music. There’ll be live in-store performances, and shoppers can pick up Sony CDs and DVDs at Bloomingdale’s stores.

Though he’s optimistic about the store’s prospects for the fall season, Bloomingdale’s VP Jack Hruska told the International Herald Tribune that, “We’re in a tough economy; there’s no denying that.” Hmm… all the more reason to get involved in a failing industry, right Jack?