Downloading The Numbers

There’s been conflicting reports on the digital music business, with an independent survey saying sales are shrinking while the Official U.K. Chart Company and the record companies insist they’re going up.

Downloading and analyzing the information is made more difficult because chart company and BPI responses to a report prepared by digital media research specialists The Leading Question and digital music agency MusicAlly didn’t offer any like-for-like comparisons.

The researchers based their figures on the number of people paying for downloads. They say it dropped from 16 percent to 14 percent in 2007. The chart company and BPI figures focused on the number of sales and said single-track sales increased to 77.96 million – up 42.3 percent – and album sales were up 69.3 percent to 6.25 million.

The Leading Question results, which were to be presented at Brighton’s The Great Escape music convention May 16, were complemented by a five-point plan that included suggestions such as changing the charts and offering bundled music packages.