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Music Industry Execs Cautiously Upbeat

The mood of music industry executives and observers has turned more upbeat and bullish -- or at least so it seemed at the annual Billboard Music & Money Symposium held recently in New York City.

In the same forum last year, former Sony BMG CEO Andrew Lack, who recently was pushed into the chairman post, expressed doubt over the near-term outlook for music industry momentum, proclaiming that "three to four years from now, we are lucky if we land where we were two years ago."

However, this year's event heard some cautiously optimistic tones. After increasing revenue by 1.5 percent at his firm in 2005 to $5.8 billion with profits of $570 million, Universal Music Group chairman and CEO Doug Morris said he expected further erosion of the physical CD business and increase of the digital business over the next five years.

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