NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It's getting to be tricky to sing the digital music and media tune. Investors in Pandora (P), Apple's (AAPL) iTunes and even Netflix (NFLX) are having a hard time deciding if reasonable quarterly results and some subscriber and usage growth are enough to merit fresh value in these stocks.
But if investors bother to look at the underlying macroeconomics of the global music market, getting the tune right should not be hard. Music is still very much sings a grim and sad song.
About a month ago, the global riff on the Recording Industry Association of America, called the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, released its Digital Music Report 2014. This report, "gives an excellent overview of how the music industry is investing and adapting to the digital world," wrote renowned tenor Placido Domingo in the document, who also happens to be chairman of IFPI as it more commonly known.
Sure enough, once investors get past the full-page ads for online music services, like Deezer and Qobuz claiming 'We See Clear Skies Ahead," this report does offer remarkably intricate detail on the state of the global music industry.
Certainly there was coverage in the music press that not all the news from the report was toe-tapping stuff. "Despite positive signs of growth from many European and Latin American markets, coupled with an increase in the global uptake of streaming and subscription services, the music industry is not out of the woods quite yet," is how Richard Smirke at Billboard summed up the document.