UK Music Industry Reports First Sales Increase In Six Years
Music sales are up for the first time in six years according to the British Phonographic Institute (BPI). A strong end to 2009 and increased income from digital downloads offset the reducing sales of physical formats as the UK recorded music market reported a 1.4% annual increase in total income for 2009 of £928.8m, BPI’s annual survey of industry income revealed this week.
Trade income from physical formats declined 6.1% during 2009, with total revenues down from £787.8m to £739.9m continuing the downward trend for the sixth year in succession. Despite strong performances by key releases from Susan Boyle, Lady Gaga, Paolo Nutini, Michael Bublé, Robbie Williams, and The Beatles Remastered albums, in 2009 the physical albums market dropped 6.7% in value to £699.2m.
Digital income now represents a fifth (20.3%) of overall recorded music revenues, taking into account earnings from online downloads alongside mobile, subscriptions and ad-supported services. 2009’s digital revenues total of £188.9m is 47.8% up on the £127.8m earned in 2008.
Geoff Taylor, BPI Chief Executive said: “It’s encouraging to see industry revenues stabilise and even show modest growth in 2009. This is testament to continuing investment by UK labels in talented artists despite challenging economic conditions, and the innovation labels have shown in licensing new digital services.
“But let’s put it in broader perspective: 2009’s modest result follows a five-year drop in annual income, and total industry income has not exceeded £1bn since 2006. The CD continues to show greater resilience than many predicted – it is an excellent digital product. The pace of growth of new digital services is encouraging, but the size of the market continues to be constrained by competition from illegal downloads.”
The headline-grabbing ad-supported services, such as Spotify, we7, Last.fm and YouTube, grew their contribution to industry income by 247% to £8.2m. Despite this being the largest increase of any sector of the market, these revenues still represent less than 1% of the annual total.
Published: 27 April 2010