Digital music sales flat in US, rising in Europe

27 Sep 2010

Digital music sales have stalled in the US, with sales remaining flat in the first half of 2010. In Europe, however, they were up.

According to research from Nielsen, digital music sales were flat after a 13pc increase from 2008 to 2009.

This was already down from 2007 to 2008’s figure of 28pc growth.

Jean Littolff, managing director of Nielsen Music, told Reuters that this could be due to weak consumer confidence, the appeal of new music releases and the confusion as to the numerous different ways people can buy music on the internet.

“I think this is a plateau, it doesn’t mean that this digital consumption is going to drop significantly,” Littolff said.

“It’s a plateau, but it’s not yet saturation.”

However, Nielsen saw that sales grew in Europe.

In Britain, digital music sales rose by 7pc. In Germany, they were up 13pc and in France, they were up 19pc.

Nielsen said that in general, subscription streaming services where consumers pay for music access were still struggling to make an impact in the mainstream market.

Sites such as YouTube were still popular for streaming audio-visual media, and mobile phone music services were rising in popularity.