Digital music revenues overtake CDs, figures show

31 May 2012

A music industry milestone has been reached now that digital music revenues have surpassed those for CDs for the first time.

Figures from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) show that income from downloads and streaming services made up 56pc of the stg£156m that music buyers spent in the first quarter of 2012.

Cash from digital sales have increased by nearly a quarter, year on year, to stg£86.5m, while revenue from physical formats, such as CD and vinyl, sank 15pc to stg£69.3m.

Album downloads jumped 22pc during January-March 2012. They bring in more income than single downloads, and this is the second successive quarter in which this has occurred.

“This is a significant milestone in the evolution of the music business,” said BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor.

“UK record labels have embraced digital to their core, supporting innovation and licensing more new online and mobile services than any other country. As a result, the industry’s prospects for growth look brighter than for several years.

“We will need to see this trend repeated for several quarters to say we have turned the corner – demand for physical CDs remains strong in the UK, especially in Q4. However, the creativity, investment and digital expertise of the British music industry point the way forward for growth in the UK economy,” Taylor added.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic