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Video games drive spike in music composer employment

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Music composer jobs on the rise

Music composition is one of the fastest-growing jobs in the U.S., and its recent spike can be largely attributed to the video game industry, according to research conducted by GameSoundCon.

Using a USA Today story as a springboard for its research, GameSoundCon analyzed the breakdown of the profession's 178 percent growth over the past 10 years. The study looked at the moderate increase in movies released, the number of independent films released and something that happened in 2008: the launch of prominent App Stores and developer programs.

"From 2002 to 2008, the number of composing jobs remained relatively flat, with just a slight uptick from 2002 (8,980 jobs) to 2008 (9,120 jobs)," the report reads. "2009, however, was a huge inflection point, with employment increasing 57 percent over 2008 to 14,330, followed by similar growth in 2012 and 2011, culminating in nearly 25,000 music director/composer jobs in 2012."

The report attributes the steep increase in jobs to the launch of the Apple AppStore and the Facebook Application Developer program, "which began the ascent in casual, mobile and social video gaming."

The report states that even at a conservative estimate of only half the games on the app store requiring the services of a professional composer, the size and scale of the app store means that some 75,000 games would have needed to hire the services of a professional composer or music/sound director.

While there has been a recently leveling off in demand for these positions, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that "over 32,000 new music director or composer job openings due to growth and replacement needs will need to be filled over the next decade."