The record industry breathed a sigh of relief February 27th: after a near decade-long decline, reports found that music sales actually increased in 2012.

The Financial Times reported the findings, which indicated that it was the first time the record industry saw an increase since 1999. According to the report, the surprise findings were mostly a result of increase in digital downloads and subscription fees. The former raked in roughly $16.5 billion, making up one-third of industry revenue. That figure marked a nine percent growth, which more than made up for the five percent decline in physical sales.

Along with the good news, business consumer group NPD released another surprising finding that piracy was also down in 2012. Put the two together and 2012 could seem like a win-win for the music industry.

According to music consumer analyst company Musicmetric, however, those findings may have been a little short-sighted.

The company did agree with NPD's findings that piracy was decreasing as a whole in the US, but NPD's claims only focused on US consumers. With increases in web connectivity and speed, BitTorrent downloads worldwide have seen a continuous increase.

Gregory Mead, chief executive of Semetric (which owns Musicmetric), said, “While our data does show a decrease in BitTorrent downloads in the US, it also shows that it is increasing significantly in emerging markets such as Brazil and India and is on track to pass the US in the near future … The findings show those emerging markets with growing music piracy issues are ripe for a legal alternative, and represent very exciting opportunities for the global music industry.”

While the struggle to contain piracy in the US has seemed to level off somewhat, the increasing task of adjusting to other major markets taking advantage of technological innovation seems to be the formative task at hand.