LONDON (Reuters) - Global recorded music sales fell 7 percent to $17 billion in 2009, hit by a fall in the world's two biggest markets of the United States and Japan, the industry's trade body said on Wednesday.
The IFPI said the 2009 figures -- which compared with an 8 percent drop in 2008 -- showed a mixed picture, with a return to growth in 13 markets and digital music sales growing strongly, although rampant music piracy continued to eat in to revenues.
Susan Boyle, who shot to fame on Simon Cowell's "Britain's Got Talent" show, had the best selling album of the year with "I Dreamed a Dream," which sold 8.3 million units.
Other top selling artists included the Black Eyed Peas, Michael Jackson, Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga. Five of the top 10 best sellers were signed to Vivendi's Universal, with the others on Sony and Warner Music Group.
Global recorded sales have been hit in recent years by piracy and the move to cheaper digital tracks.
"The global music business is continuing to fight its corner, investing in talent and developing new business models despite the problems of a market rigged by piracy," IFPI Chairman and Chief Executive John Kennedy said in a statement.
"Music companies are investing over $5 billion a year in developing and marketing artists, licensing hundreds of services and adapting their distribution channels to meet changing consumer demand."
The United States and Japan made up 80 percent of the overall market decline, the IFPI said, while the worldwide fall in revenue outside those two markets was 3.2 percent.
Physical sales of music such as CDs fell by 12.7 percent globally, while digital music sales rose by 9.2 percent to $4.3 billion.
Outside of the recorded business, the broader music industry which includes areas such as radio advertising and live performance sales fell 8 percent to an estimated $140 billion.
Growth in live music revenue, which reached 4 percent, has slowed significantly in the last three years.
Editing by David Holmes