BPI, the UK record label industry association has released its third-quarter report revealing that it’s boom time for the Brit digital music industry.
There’s a veritably frenzy of digital downloading going on, with UK single track download sales totalling 25 million since the format launched, with 5.7 million sales in 2004 and a thumping great 16.9 million sales already notched up this year.
According to the BPI, weekly sales regularly top half a million, with digital downloads accounting for over 60 percent of the entire singles market – compare that to the 3.6 percent market share at the beginning of 2004.
Digital is also claiming a bigger share of the Top 75 singles chart, growing from 15.9 percent when the combined chart launched in mid-April to 25.5 percent at the end of August.
But with the Yin of the increased digital music sales comes the Yan of declining retail sales, with the BPI reporting a 21.8 percent decline in physical single sales.
This decline has, however, been more than offset by the hefty growth of digital song purchases – up 288 percent – helping the overall singles market grow by a massive 49 percent. Significantly, these figures do not include subscription sales or paid-for streams.
Once again, the death of vinyl has been exaggerated with the 7-inch physical singles market registering 80 per cent growth with 800,000 sales.
A clearly chuffed BPI Chairman Peter Jamieson said: “This year digital made the transition from mere potential to becoming a significant revenue stream. But this is just the beginning.”
“While the record label model of investing in the best new music talent remains the same, the emergence of innovative new digital services means that the record companies can offer consumers even greater choice as to how to access their music.”
The report also highlighted figures from The Official UK Charts Company which suggested that digital punters are taking advantage of increasing consumer choice, with 81% of all download sales being non-chart titles.
Out of the 1.5 million different songs available legally online, around 80,000 different tracks are being sold each week – up from 55,000 last August.