UK CITIZENS have leapt to adopt digital music services and are enjoying the experience, according to numbers put out by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) music cartel.
The BPI said that around a fifth of Brits have "fully transitioned" to digital music, and that just over a quarter have purchased or streamed content legally.
Legally is the key here for the BPI, and it is glad to see that legal services are good, that people are aware of them and that they are happy with the services that they receive.
The music publishers' organisation has issued a series of numbers about adoption, saying that Edinburgh people are the UK's biggest Spotify users, followed by Cardiff, Southampton, London, and Bristol. The music streaming market is now worth more than £49m to British record labels.
Digital downloads are also big, and the BPI said that 114 million albums and 938 million single tracks have been sold to date.
This adoption is showing itself. High Street CD selling stores like HMV might be staggering, but digital sales now account for a massive 99.6 percent of all singles sales, and the BPI said that it has "resurrected" the UK market for singles. Singles sales have increased over the last five years, and in 2012 183 million were sold. Album sales have also increased by around 15 percent year on year to 30.5 million in 2012.
"Britain is blessed with a world-beating array of digital music services, which fans rate very highly for ease of use and value for money," said BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor.
"And this is just the beginning. Labels are striking innovative new deals with mobile networks, hardware manufacturers, app developers and start-ups. The music fan will be the clear winner, as digital services evolve to deliver even richer music experiences via super-fast broadband and 4G to tablets, smart TVs and the next generation of in-car audio."
He was referring to the recent boom in gadgets, like tablets and connected cars, that bring digital services closer to tune-hungry users.
The BPI said that more than 50 million vehicles equipped with 4G or WiFi-networked audio systems will be leaving forecourts every year by 2017, and that in 2016 19 million people, around half of whom are music fans, are expected to own tablets.
Networked home audio and speaker systems - here the BPI named Sonos and Teufel - will have annual sales of "well over" three million by 2016, and 44 million people are expected to be 4G mobile subscribers at the same time. These factors, plus the fact that a fifth of so-called Smart TV users are already using music streaming, adds up to a big market for digital music indulgence. µ