UK digital music sales explode…

The BPI has released fresh figures showing huge development in the digital music industry in the UK.

In the 30th of the organisation’s annually produced BPI Statistical handbook a spotlight on the UK digital music market reveals 10 per cent of the population bought some form of digital music in 2008, up from 5 per cent in 2007.
Additional highlights include revelations that:

– 10 million digital albums were sold in 2008, a 65% increase on 2007.
– Digital now accounts for 10% of music spending, up from 6% in 2007.
– Three albums – Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida”, Kings of Leon’s “Only By Night” and Duffy’s “Rockferry” – sold more than 100,000 digital copies.
– 110 million single tracks were downloaded in 2008, a 42% increase on 2007 and digital tracks now account for 95% of the market, up from 90% in 2007.
Geoff Taylor, BPI Chief Executive said: “The rapid growth of the digital market is clear evidence that British record companies have the business models in place to deliver music to fans online. 

“The impressive fact that one pound in every ten is earned online shows that labels are leading the way in the entertainment world in developing digital services.

“At the same time these figures also demonstrate that the CD is still a highly valued and loved product and that music fans appreciate the physical album.

“BPI’s research also shows that UK record companies invested 21% of turnover on sales in A&R expenditure over the last three years.
Market Value and Volume:
–          Relatively good results in a tough climate: trade value down by 5.3%, retail by 6%
–          Album sales (units) down by 3.2%, singles up by 33%
–          10.3m digital albums sold in 2008, a 65% increase on 2007. Downloaded albums now account for 10.3% of the market (up from 6.3% in 2007).
–          Three albums sold more than 100,000 digital copies (Coldplay, Kings Of Leon, Duffy)
–          109.8m single tracks downloaded in 2008, a 41.6% increase. Digital tracks now account for 95.3% of the market (up from 89.6% in 2007).
–          20-29 year olds are most active in the digital market, accounting for 43.9% of all spend in 2008
–          9.5% of the population bought some form of digital music in 2008, up from 5.1% in 2007.
Sales by Genre:
–          Rock was still the dominant genre in the albums market in 2008 – accounting for 35.7% of sales – but Pop gained ground, its share rising to 25.3% (from 22.3% in 2007)
–          R&B sales up in both markets
–          Share of album market up slightly in 2008, to 3.7% (from 3.6% in 2007)
–          The Priests’ self-titled debut was the best-seller – almost 400,000 copies sold in five weeks, making it the fastest-selling Classical debut
–          Share up to 22.9% from 22.3% in 2007; sales only down by 1.4%
–          Four of Top 10 albums of the year were comps (3 Now titles + Mamma Mia OST)
–          Mamma Mia was first soundtrack to sell a million in a year since The Bodyguard in 1993
–          Now 70 (released in July) was the fastest-selling Now comp ever
Music and Games:
–          Music games (such as Rock Band and Guitar Hero) are a fast-growing genre, accounting for 6% of all games sales on the leading consoles in 2008
–          Value of this market was £108m at retail; well over 4m copies of such games sold
Retail Share:
–          iTunes share of singles expenditure up to 65.7%; unit share is 71.8%
–          Albums market still dominated by Specialists (37.5% of expenditure), with HMV the overall market leader (24.1%)
–          Tesco is the biggest Supermarket (10.5%); iTunes is on 5.7% (overall Digital share is 7.0%)
–          Amazon, etc account for 17.6% of market – third highest overall
–          44.1% of UK population (aged 12 to 74) bought some form of music in 2008
–          Spend is still heavily biased towards men (60.7%)
–          20-29 year olds narrowly edging 30-39 year olds in share of expenditure (21.1% against 21.0%). In the albums market, 30-39 year olds cumulatively spend the most (21.1%)
–          12-19 year olds are spending the most per buyer, but their penetration level is the lowest of all age groups
Music Consumption:
–          Research shows that music is at the heart of day-to-day living. 7.2m MP3 players were sold in 2008, with a third of the UK population now owning one.
–          Almost a third (28%) of 16 to 24 year olds listen to music at least weekly on a mobile phone, with one in 10 using services such as Spotify and on the same basis
–          New BPI/Harris survey finds that 23% of respondents (aged 16 to 54) are users of illegal filesharing networks
–          Two thirds of these (ie 15% of all survey respondents) use these services on a monthly basis
–          Over 70% of filesharers were aged under 35
–          Jupiter estimate that losses to online music piracy amounted to £180m in 2008, and predict they will rise to £200m in 2009.
World Market:
–          UK music is increasingly popular on the international stage. UK artists accounted for one in 10 artist albums sold in the USA in 2008, and 15% of all artist album sales in Canada
–          Leona Lewis had the biggest selling download and most-played track in America (Bleeding Love) and Duffy’s Mercy was the most-played track in Europe
–          Coldplay’s Viva La Vida sold 6.8 million units globally, making it the biggest selling album in the world in 2008
–          The UK’s share of global music sales rose to 10% in 2008, up from 9.4% in 2007
–          Britain is the third largest music market in the world and is also third in the digital market table (again, behind the US and Japan)

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