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Digital downloads dominate UK pop charts

Virtual music accounts for almost 100 percent of singles sales
Wed Jan 02 2013, 11:27
Mixing desk

THE RECORDING INDUSTRY is reaping the benefits of digital consumption and now shifts over 99 percent of some of its products virtually.

In the UK digital downloads accounted for 99.6 percent of singles sale, while overall these sales increased by six percent to 188.6 million. According to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the top 20 best selling songs of the year all sold more than half a million copies each.

The industry might be seeing sales increase, but it says that it still faces problems and still needs government support and assistance if it is to grow further.

"2012 was an encouraging year for UK artists and for music's digital future. Digital albums grew strongly and singles sales hit a new record. The Jubilee celebrations and the London 2012 Olympics provided a great showcase for British music internationally, but market conditions at home remained difficult and pressure on the ‘leisure wallet' impacted music sales on the high street," said Geoff Taylor, BPI chief executive.

"However, the quality of our music and digital innovation by UK labels means we have excellent potential for domestic growth and to increase our share of the global music market. We hope Government will recognise the potential of digital music to contribute to economic recovery and provide more active support in 2013."

Figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) show that digital sales of music, video and games have exceeded £1bn for the first time.

Hard copy sales, CDs and DVDs for example, which account for over three-quarters of the market, fell by 18 percent year on year, putting more pressure on the high street.

Virtually though, things look grand, and there were sales increases across the board. Music sales increased by 15 percent, video by 20 percent, and videogames by eight percent. The growth was attributed to the increased availability and use of portable devices.

"The combination of a myriad of exciting new devices and compelling new digital retailing services is clearly exciting consumers," said Bayley.

"What is most striking is that these figures do not even include the impact of streaming services like Spotify, Deezer, We7 and Rdio, for whom full market value data is not yet available."

Overall however, combined sales of music, video and videogames fell by 12 percent to £4.21bn µ


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