Global Music Sales Fall £930M

Global music sales have fallen by about £930 million and the UK is one of the hardest hit territories as CD and download revenues dropped 11 percent to £906 million.

Figures from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry show Britain has now been overtaken by Germany as the world’s third-largest music market.

UK digital sales rocketed by 19.6 percent to £246 million, but the £40 million gain was more than wiped out by physical sales falling by £71 million.

A 19.2 percent drop in physical sales cut the market value from £731 million to £660 million.

IFPI chief exec Frances Moore said the record companies are doing their best but widespread piracy means they’re “operating at only a fraction of their potential.”

The figures were published a few days after the opening of the judicial review of the UK’s 2010 Digital Economy Act, which contains legislation to reduce Internet piracy.

The global sales collapse of £930 million was £24 million higher than the total value of the UK market.

For the U.S. and Japan, the world’s largest markets, the picture doesn’t look any brighter.

U.S. overall sales fell by 10 percent with physical sales down 20 percent to just more than £1.24 billion. The growth in digital sales slowed to 1.2 percent and the two markets are now worth roughly the same.

The Japanese suffered a market decline of 8.3 percent.

Labels represented by IFPI are hoping new retail models like unlimited-subscription can reignite industry growth.

The music companies’ organisation also continues to lobby governments for anti-piracy action that would work hand-in-hand with new legal services based on the ISPs disconnecting the habitual pirates.