Recorded 2009 music sales fell around 10 percent: IFPI

Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:10am EST
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By Kate Holton and Matt Cowan

LONDON (Reuters) - Global recorded music sales fell around 10 percent in 2009, and are down a huge 30 percent since 2004, after rampant piracy ate in to traditional and legitimate digital sales, the industry's trade body said.

The IFPI said in its annual report that the industry had seen positive developments in 2009, with more than a quarter of all recorded music revenues now coming from digital sales after the industry embraced new ways to sell tracks.

But the rate of growth has slowed in recent years, and sales from the likes of Apple's iTunes and Spotify failed to counter the damage wrought by illegal downloading.

The report showed legal digital sales grew by an estimated 12 percent in the year to $4.2 billion, compared to the 25 percent growth recorded in 2008 and 30 percent growth in 2007.

Overall recorded music sales were estimated to be down around 10 percent, if not higher, compared with a fall of around 7 percent in 2008 and an 8 percent fall in 2007.

"Overall, global music sales in the first half of 2009 were down by 12 percent (physical and digital sales) and full-year figures are likely to see a similar trend," the report said.

The IFPI said the growth of legitimate digital sales was being held back by piracy, which it said was choking revenues, new services and investment.

The IFPI said the worst-affected markets were countries where legitimate digital services had yet to take off. Sales fell around 17 percent in 2009 in Spain for instance, and the market is now about a third of its 2001 level.   Continued...