The size of the legitimate UK digital music industry doubled so far in 2005.
UK record industry trade association the BPI today revealed the figure, which is “almost twice the level for the whole of 2004”, it said.
”With the growth in legal downloads already outstripping the growth in illegal filesharing, this is more good news for an industry beginning to make headway against the unauthorized use of music on the Internet,” the organisation said.
BPI chairman Peter Jamieson said: “The record industry has enthusiastically embraced the new legal download services since their emergence in the mainstream little more than a year ago and now we’re beginning to reap the rewards.
“The battle against illegal filesharing will continue, but we are delighted to have hit this milestone so soon.”
Vitality in vinyl
Far from declining as a format, the seven inch vinyl single remains in demand with quarterly sales up by 87.3 per cent on last year. Overall there has been a 52.4 per cent improvement in single sales (including downloads). Information of sales by format is appended below.
British indie rock fans spark seven inch vinyl revival
Annual sales of seven-inch vinyl singles now approach 1.4 million units - the best 12 months for the format since 1998, according to data compiled by BPI
Best-selling seven inch single in the year to March 2005 was a limited edition reissue of Iron Maiden’s Number of the Beast. Elsewhere the format is dominated by a new generation of UK rock acts including the Libertines, Babyshambles, Kaiser Chiefs and Franz Ferdinand.
BPI Chairman Peter Jamieson said: “Despite the incredible growth in download sales, there is still a huge demand for the collectible physical formats. It would be wrong to write-off physical formats just yet. Record companies are committed to meeting consumer demand in whatever format people want their music ”
UK music enjoys US renaissance
British music is enjoying increasing success in the US, with 75 UK albums topping the 100,000 sales mark in the US in 2004, compared with just 66 in 2003.
The news comes just weeks after Coldplay’s third album X&Y entered at number 1 with first-week sales of 739,000, which in turn follows hot on the heels of big-selling albums from Oasis and Gorillaz.
Coldplay’s third studio album was also the first British album to simultaneously top both the US and UK charts since the Beatles 1 collection in 2000.
“We have not seen anything like it for a decade,” said BPI chairman Peter Jamieson. “From Coldplay to Oasis, Dido to Gorillaz, Lostprophets to Franz Ferdinand, British music is on the march.”
And Jamieson announced that the BPI is to prioritise the US in its international strategy in order to make the most of the opportunity. “We need to capitalise on the growing openness to UK music,” said Jamieson.
Earlier this year, US music trade magazine Billboard led with the cover story ‘The British are Coming’. Now new BPI research – based on an analysis of the Top 5,000 best-selling albums and Top 5,000 most played tracks on US radio - confirms improving prospects for British music in the US:
“Music is still one of the UK’s great exports,” said Jamieson. “We are by far the biggest exporter of music outside the US. We export many times more music to the US than the rest of Europe put together.”
The UK albums market only saw a modest decline of 1.7 per cent in the second quarter of 2005, though compilations suffered a 14.2 per cent downturn.
Single track sales April-June 2005
From The Official UK Chart Company
Digital Singles / Single Track Downloads
2004 - 659,377
2005 - 5,562,638
Change 743.6 per cent
2004 - 5,721,873
2005 - 4,408,453
Change -23.0 per cent
Seven Inch Vinyl
2004 - 154,216
2005 - 288,780
Change 87.3 per cent
2004 - 710,745
2005 - 780,204
Change 9.8 per cent
Total Single Track Sales
2004 - 7,246,211
2005 - 11,040,075
Change 52.4 per cent.