Music sales at lowest since records began

Music sales worldwide are expected to plunge by about 11 per cent this year, making 2007 the worst year for the recording industry for more than a quarter of a century.At Easter, industry bosses forecast a 4-8 per cent decline in revenues, but at least one of the four biggest companies is preparing for an 11 per cent tumble as the shift to digital starts to make its impact felt…. CD sales were down by about 20 per cent in the first half of this year in the US, the world’s largest music market, according to data released by Soundscan last week. Even allowing for growth in digital downloads, total sales fell by 9.3 per cent. The calculations are based on ten single downloads counting as one album.The problem began in January after a surge in sales of digital music players over Christmas. Apple’s dominant iTunes online record store allows listeners to buy two or three single tracks in preference to a whole album, depressing revenues. see:
Sales of CDs slump by 8 per cent in first half
Sales of CDs slumped by 8 per cent in the UK in the first half of the year but strong growth in legally downloaded music helped offset some of the decline.The collapse in CD and DVD sales on the UK high street has come into focus after music chain Fopp closed its 81 outlets last week. Retailers such as HMV and Virgin have come under intense pressure from low-cost online competitors as well as illegal downloading of music.However, the overall decline in CD sales was not quite as dramatic as the music retailers’ woes suggest. The latest data from the BPI, the UK music industry trade body, showed that 60 million albums were sold in the first half of the year, down from 65 million in the same period in 2006. Nearly 97 per cent of those albums were sold as CDs.

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