Music Sales in Germany Up 1.5 Percent in First Half

6:44 AM PST 08/07/2012 by Scott Roxborough
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Digital downloads of albums by Adele and Lana Del Ray make up for CD sales slip.

Revenue from music downloads increases 32 percent, compensating for a 5.4 percent dip in physical sales.

A massive 32 percent jump in revenue from downloading music online made up for the continuing decline in the physical sale of music albums and singles in Germany, according to data released Tuesday by the German Music Industry Association, the BVMI.

The group reported a slim 0.2 percent increase in overall revenue for the half to about $780 million, driven by online music sales. The strongest growth was in album downloads, which jumped nearly 35 percent year-on-year. Local rock band Die Toten Hosen topped the German digital album charts in the first half with their new release Ballast der Republik, followed by international stars Lana Del Rey with Born To Die and Adele with 21.

Online music sales now account for just under 20 percent of total revenue in the German market, up from 14.4 percent over the same period last year. The BVMI figures do not include revenue from online streaming services such as Spotify, which have only recently entered the German market. Streaming revenue accounted for about 2 percent of the $2 billion German music market last year.

Physical CD sales, however, continue to decline, falling 5.4 percent in the first half. But CDs still accounted for 72 percent of overall revenues, according to the BVMI.

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