Digital Revenues Match Physical

UK revenues from digital music services are matching those from physical format sales, according to International Federation Of Phonographic Industry figures published April 14.

Digital sales have risen to $6.9 billion, or the equivalent of 52 percent of all global music sales. The industry’s overall global revenues in 2014 showed a slight fall to $14.97 billion – just 0.4 percent down from the previous year’s $15.03 billion. A 39 percent increase in subscription revenues offset an 8 percent decline in download sales to drive overall digital revenues.

The number of paying users of subscription services rose 46.4 percent to an estimated 41 million. Subscription services are now at the heart of the music industry’s portfolio of businesses, representing 23 percent of the digital market and generating $1.6 billion in trade revenues. The industry sees substantial further growth potential in the subscription sector, with new services advancing in 2015 led by three major global players: YouTube’s Music Key, Jay Z’s TIDAL and Apple’s expected subscription service.

“The recorded music business has always led the way for creative industries in the digital world,” said IFPI chief exec Frances Moore. “It is a reflection of how much we have adapted that digital revenues today are, for the first time, on a par with physical.” Physical sales still account for 46 percent of the market, although that’s higher in some territories such as Japan (78 percent), Germany (70) and France (57).