Digital Is Driving First Half World Music Sales
Sales of digital music in the first half of 2006 rose 106 percent to US$945 million when compared with the first six months of last year. Globally, digital sales now account for 11 percent of the total recorded music market worldwide, up from 5.5 percent in December 2005.
The US is still leading the digital revolution, with 18 percent of recorded music sales now being made through digital channels. Digital music sales in the US increased by 84 percent to US$ 513 million in the first six months of 2006.
Digital music also accounts for a significant part of the overall market in South Korea (51%), Japan (11%), Italy (9%) and the UK (8%).
The explosion in digital music services, spurred by consumer demand and a widening array of delivery channels, has seen online and mobile music sales grow from $US134 million in the first half of 2004 to US$945 million in the first half of 2006.
In Japan, Italy and Spain, mobile dominates the digital market, accounting for 85 percent, 76 percent and 78 percent of overall sales, respectively. Online downloading is more prominent in markets such as the UK, Germany and the US, where online sales account for 70 percent, 69 percent and 64 percent of digital sales, respectively.
Physical music sales declined in the first half period, down by ten per cent worldwide. This led to total music sales falling by four per cent in the period to $8.4 billion in trade values (US$13.7 billion in retail values). Piracy and competition for consumer spending contributed to the first half fall.
There was growth in some markets, such as Japan (12%), South Korea (5%) and Australia (6%), counter-balanced by declines in Germany (-4%), the US (-7%) and France (-9%).
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