Total worldwide music sales drop to 9% in 2010; industry looks to subscription services
Growth in global digital music sales has gone down in 2010 despite the clamp down on piracy aiding websites, according to a report by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).
The report estimates total global sales to be down between 8% and 9% in 2010 and the growth of digital revenues halving to 6% globally, at $4.6bn.
IFPI chief executive Frances Moore said about 95% of downloads are still unlicensed and 19 out of 20 are illegal.
The report found that digital music accounted for 29% of music companies’ total revenues last year, up from 25% in 2009.
In the US, digital sales accounted for almost half of total music company revenues as CD sales dipped. European digital music sales grew almost 20% year on year in 2010.
Moore said digital music subscriptions took off in 2010. He cited Spotify’s 750,000-strong paying customers as a good example and said there was a huge potential to expand on the current a la carte service offered by iTunes.
Though digital sales have grown by more than 1,000% from 2004 to 2010, overall global recorded music revenues have declined by 31% over the same period as piracy remains a critical issue.
Last year LimeWire, the biggest source of online piracy in the US, was declared illegal and action was taken against Pirate Bay.