Although more than 100,000 amateur singers will gather in Pomona,
California, to celebrate karaoke with classics such as MC Hammer’s “U
Can’t Touch This” and Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe,” the industry
itself is singing the blues. Annual U.S. sales of karaoke music and
machines have fallen a whopping 80% off their early-aughts peak to just
$40 million. The culprit: piracy. “It’s gotten a lot worse because of
the rise of the Internet,” laments Rick Priddis, president of
Utah-based karaoke company Priddis Music. “But we’re all just
continuing on and hoping for the best.” As a drunken Journey fan might
advise in a bar: “Don’t stop belieeeeevin’.” — DM
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