Music Business In Decline
Global music sales have fallen to their lowest level since 1985, the year that started with ‘I Wanna Know What Love Is’ by Foregner and ended with Shakin Stevens declaring ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’.
The equivalent of 1.86 billion albums were sold in 2007, counting ten sales of individual songs as the equivalent of one album, according to figures published yesterday by the IFPI, which represents music companies worldwide.
Album sales were down 11 per cent, from 2.09 billion, in figures that include paid-for downloads. In 1985, unit sales were 1.8 billion, as the CD began to increase in popularity, a run of growth that peaked in 1996 with sales of 3.4 billion.
In Britain, revenues in 2007 tumbled to £1.02 billion, with Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black as the top-selling album. The main cause of the decline continues to be falling CD sales, hurt by illegal copying. Digital downloading in Britian increased by 28%, but this smaller busines growth does not come close to ofsetting the 16% decline in CD sales worldwide.
However, industry bosses said that the gloomy data was nothing new. A spokesman for Vivendi’s Universal Music, the market leader, said: 'This must be the tenth consecutive year we’ve read the obituary for the music business, but we are still here'.
Published: 18 June 2008