DIGITAL MUSIC SALES will grow by 42 per cent in the UK this year, thanks to downloads and streaming services such as Spotify, research firm Strategy Analytics predicts.
In its most recent Global Recorded Music Forecast, Strategy Analytics also said that globally, online streaming revenues will grow at almost five times the rate of download revenues this year, increasing by 40 percent to £696 million.
"While download revenues will increase by 8.5 percent to £2.5 billion, streaming services will take over as the leading revenue growth engine for the music industry in 2012," the report forecast.
The research firm's study also found that despite CDs and vinyl sales still dominating the industry, accounting for 61 per cent of all music sold, physical sales have plunged by 12 per cent globally and 30 per cent in the UK.
The decline is due to the boost in digital music sales, including downloads, streamed music and mobile sales. Strategy Analytics' forecast says these sales will overtake that of physical products like CDs in 2015, both in the UK and worldwide.
"UK physical sales are decreasing sharply", Strategy Analytics' report said, at over double the global rate, "with spending expected to decline by 30 per cent in 2012".
The UK is also well ahead of the average streamed and downloaded music sales worldwide, with a 38 per cent share of total music spending compared to the global average of 22 per cent.
Strategy Analytics' forecast could shine a light on the recent news that the UK's number one album that entered the charts this week by US pop star Rhianna hit the top spot with the lowest number of physical sales of all time, with weekly sales of less than 10,000 units. Its sales figure smashed the record for the lowest weekly sales for a number one hit in the 21st century. µ
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