Global sales of recorded music have fallen by $1.5 billion, according to a new report by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, the global peak body for the recorded music industry. However, in the face of file sharing becoming as common as having toast for breakfast, this only represents a drop of about 8.5% on the previous year.
What is most surprising is that the report shows that although physical sales such as CDs fell by 14.2% to $10.4 billion, they still represent approximately 2/3 of music sales globally? Who the hell buys CDs anymore, let alone $10.4 billion worth of them?
Digital revenue now accounts for 29% of global sales, clocking up $4.6 billion on the cash register. An ominous sign for the record industry, however, is that although the digital stream grew by 5.3% year on year, the rate of growth has halved.
This leads many pundits to believe that the record industry has reached its equivalent of ‘peak oil’, in that the rapid growth in digital sales which made up for the fall in physical sales will go downhill, leaving sales of music in all formats in perpetual decline.