Music sales down, but Susan Boyle tops chart

Global sales fell 7.2% to $17.03 billion in 2009

LONDON -- Trade revenue for global recorded music market totaled $17.03 billion in 2009, a year-over-year decline of 7.2%, according to the IFPI.

The trade group's annual "Recording Industry in Numbers" shows that physical sales were down 12.7% on a global basis to $11.93 billion, a smaller decline than the 15% slump in physical sales for 2008.

Almost 80% of the global fall was the result of declines in the two largest music markets -- the U.S. and Japan. Music sales in Japan were off 10.8% in 2009 to $4.05 billion, and sales in the U.S. slipped 10.7% to $4.63 billion.

Sales of recorded music were up in 13 markets, though. And six experienced what the IFPI calls the "Holy Grail" -- growth in digital sales that was strong enough to offset the physical decline. The six countries are the U.K., India, South Korea, Thailand, Mexico and Australia.

Global digital revenue jumped 9.2% to $4.31 billion. Digital now accounts for 25.3% of all music sales.

Digital sales are already well-established in North America -- U.S. digital sales accounted for 43% of all U.S. music sales in 2009, while Canada's digital sales were 20% of its total -- and digital growth across this region was only 1.1% in 2009. The overall North American market fell 10.4%, with physical sales tumbling 17.9%.

Europe was the second-fastest growing region for digital sales in 2009, up by 29.7%, but the region's digital share of revenue is still below the global average of 13%. The best digital growth was in Australia/New Zealand at| 41.4%.

The U.K. remains the third-largest market, up 1.9% to $1.57 billion.

Germany was down 3% to $1.53 billion to put it at No. 4. Physical sales there represent 85% of that market, and in dollar terms, the IFPI estimates that the German music retail market is worth $2.148 billion -- just $5 million less than the U.K.

Following the passage of anti-piracy measures in France, that market stabilized: it slide 2.7% for a total of $947.7 million. The real horror stories in 2009 were Spain (down 14.3%) and Italy (off 17.4%).

Performance rights income rose 7.6% for a worldwide total of $785 million. On a retail basis, the IFPI estimates that the global recorded music market was worth $25.44 billion in 2009. Susan Boyle's "I Dreamed a Dream" was the world's biggest-selling album last year with sales of 8.3 million.
comments powered by Disqus