Whilst the UK shows a small improvement, new figures show a slump in global record sales

June 2010

Record Labels, Music Publishing

Global recorded music sales fell 7.2% in 2009, led by significant falls in the world’s two biggest markets, the US and Japan. According to the IFPI’s Recording Industry In Numbers 2010 report global recorded music trade revenues totalled $17.0bn (£11.1bn) in 2009, with physical sales down 12.7%. Digital revenue rose 9.2% in 2009 to $4.3bn (£2.8bn). Digital channels now account for about 25.3% of all music sales. Performance rights revenues from recorded music also rose, up 7.6% to $0.8bn (£0.5bn). However, globally the results were very mixed: US sales fell 10.7% to $4.6bn (£3.0bn), while sales in Japan plunged 10.8% to $4.0bn (£2.6bn). Excluding these two markets, recorded music sales fell just 3.2% in 2009. Mirroring the UK figures from the BPI, IFPI figures indicate that music sales in the UK rose 1.9% to £1.0bn last year. Other music markets that experienced an increase in trade value were Australia (up 4.3%); Brazil (up 0.5%); South Korea (up 10.4%), Sweden (up 11.9%), India (up 2.0%) and Mexico (up 0.2%). The IFPI says that the increases in South Korea and Sweden are particularly significant, as these two countries have put in place legislation to fight online piracy. Another country that has been getting hardline about online piracy, France, saw its record industry decline 2.7%, though that’s a modest slide compared to recent years. In Germany, where the record industry is lobbying political types for French-style three-strikes legislation, the market was down, but only by 3%. The IFPI blamed weak copyright laws in Spain and Italy, both of whom suffered yet more serious decline, down 14.3% and 17.4% respectively. The best-selling album of 2009 was Susan Boyle’s I Dreamed A Dream, which sold 8.3m units around the world. This is the biggest selling global number one album since Coldplay’s 2005 album X&Y.  The IFPI report reveals that the “broader music sector” was worth $140bn (£91.4bn) in 2009. Radio advertising is the biggest sector ahead of recorded music sales, itself ahead of live music sector which the IFPI estimate grew globally by 4%.

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