Digital Music Sales Out Strip Falling CD Sales

Some positive news for the British music industry emerged for a change on Sunday that revealed that the growth in digital music royalties had now out stripped falling CD sales for the first time ever.

Online music sales royalties grew by 72.7 per cent to £30.4 million, with more and more consumers downloading music from stores such as iTunes. Around 16.1 million albums were downloaded last year, up 56.1 per cent on the previous year.

PRS for Music, which collects royalties for 65k+ British songwriters, said that the £12.8 million growth in digital music revenue had more than made up for the £8.7 million loss in royalties from falling CD sales, announcing an overall 2.6 per cent rise in annual revenue last year to £623 million.

Robert Ashcroft, chief executive of PRS, said: “2009 was the first year in which the growth in revenues from the legal digital market compensated for the decline in revenues from traditional CDs and DVDs, though we remain cautious as to whether this represents a true turning point […] The next decade does, however, promise further growth in earnings from the legal digital market as well as the use of British music overseas.”

More than 150 million singles were sold last year, up from 115 million in 2008 -mostly sold digitally- and overtook album sales in Britain for the first time, which fell from 134 million to 129 million over the same period.

Top 10 most-played tracks in 2009

Sweet About Me – Gabriella Cilmi
Viva La Vida – Coldplay
The Time is Now – Moloko
Mercy – Duffy
Shine – Take That
The Promise – Girls Aloud
No Air – Jordin Sparks
The Man Who Can’t Be Moved – The Script
Greatest Day – Take That
Spotlight – Jennifer Hudson

Original article from The Times Online

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