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Egyptian cassette market faces imminent collapse

Tape cassette producers in Egypt predict a total collapse in the cassette market after album productions declined sharply in 2010. 

"Production companies will almost completely halt production next year," said Egyptian cassette production union head Mohsen Gaber. "Album production has been cut back to only 30 albums as compared to 500 in 2002."

The number of album copies dropped from 20 million to 500,000 since 2002, Gaber added, forcing many album duplication factory owners to try to sell. Buyers, however, are virtually non-existent.

Gaber said the most important factor in the recent market collapse is the downfall of the concert market, which is now limited to weddings and a small number of concerts in the region.

"The Internet is the main problem as it has resulted in a 90 percent decrease in the companies’ profits," Gaber added. "The only hope producers and singers have is for the state to intervene and protect the industry by controlling internet piracy."

Producer Nasr Mahrous predicts the music business will crash entirely throughout the Arab World, not only in Egypt. He affirmed 2010 was the worst year in the industry's past 25 years.

Said Imam, a manager for "Rotana" in Egypt, said he expects the global financial crisis to exacerbate the already moribund cassette market scenario.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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