DRM-free boosts online music sales 260%

recordshopUK digital music retailer 7digital.com this week released figures which confirm a huge increase in sales following the company’s first to market move to offer music for sale online free of DRM.

The company’s fourth quarter sales grew over 260 per cent on strength of it offering tracks in high-quality MP3 format, free of restrictive DRM.

7digital now competes with Amazon and iTunes in the UK, with all three retailers now offering music DRM-free, though only Apple sells music in the AAC format.
 
The company also confirmed sales to have been driven by album sales, “which are expected to overtake single track sales in 2009,” the company said. Over 1.6 million customers now buying MP3s from 7digital.com

The company also announced further European expansion: with store launches planned for Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

“The transition to MP3 has really boosted digital album sales – with high-quality MP3 consumers are more likely to purchase albums, rather than picking one or two tracks from an album” said company CEO Ben Drury.

“The combination of MP3s at 320kbps, great prices and our easy-to-use service has driven our registered customer base to over 1.6 million”
 
In addition to the record sales increases, 7digital.com also experienced strong European growth.

“We’ve experienced strong growth in Europe during 2008 and we’re very excited to be rolling out our MP3 service to more European countries today. We continue to work hard to secure the rights we need to expand further. This is an internet business and our goal is to provide a global service for anyone on the web” concludes Drury.
 
“We also expect digital album revenue to soon overtake single track download revenue reflecting changing consumer habits driven by the adoption of high-quality DRM-free music.”
 
The top selling album artists in 2008 include Kings Of Leon, Duffy and The Last Shadow Puppets.  
Top 10 MP3 albums for 2008
1
Kings Of Leon
Only By The Night
2
Coldplay
Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends
3
The Last Shadow Puppets
The Age Of The Understatement
4
Coldplay
Prospekt’s March EP
5
The Killers
Day & AgeUK Album
6
Guns N’ Roses
Chinese Democracy
7
Snow Patrol
A Hundred Million SunsUK Standard Version
8
Duffy
Rockferry
9
Noah and the Whale
Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down
10
Sigur Rós
Me? su? í eyrum vi? spilum endalaust

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