Dig­i­tal mu­sic sales equal to phys­i­cal for 1st time in 2014

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

Rev­enue from dig­i­tal mu­sic matched that from phys­i­cal al­bums and discs for the first time in 2014, a global in­dus­try body said Tues­day.

The In­ter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of the Phono­graphic In­dus­try’s an­nual re­port said dig­i­tal and phys­i­cal sales each ac­counted for 46 per­cent of the US$14.97 bil­lion in global mu­sic rev­enues. In­come from per­for­mance rights and syn­chro­niza­tion rev­enue made up the rest.

The old-fash­ioned vinyl for­mat has had a re­nais­sance and now ac­counts for 2 per­cent of rev­enues.

To­tal rev­enue was down 0.4 per­cent from 2013, but the group said the over­all pic­ture for the in­dus­try was pos­i­tive.

The fed­er­a­tion said the rise of sub­scrip­tion mu­sic ser­vices was driv­ing dig­i­tal growth, and there was “sub­stan­tial un­tapped po­ten­tial for growth” in the paid-for stream­ing sec­tor.

“Mu­sic com­pa­nies are chart­ing a path to sus­tain­able year-on-year growth,” said IFPI Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Frances Moore.

But she said that the in­dus­try was miss­ing out on rev­enue be­cause some plat­forms in­clud­ing YouTube are ex­empt from copy­right laws ap­plied to mu­sic­stream­ing ser­vices like Spo­tify — de­spite hav­ing many more users.

Moore said laws should be changed to fix this “value gap.”

“It’s not some­thing the in­dus­try can fix, it’s some­thing that gov­ern­ment can fix,” she said.

YouTube said “we pay hun­dreds of mil­lions of (U.S.) dol­lars to the mu­sic in­dus­try ev­ery year, have deals in place with hun­dreds of in­de­pen­dent and ma­jor la­bels around the world, and pro­vide rights-hold­ers with tools to con­trol their copy­righted work.”

The re­port also named the year’s top-sell­ing al­bum — the “Frozen” sound­track, which sold 10 mil­lion copies. Phar­rell Wil­liams’ “Happy” was the top sin­gle, sell­ing 13.9 mil­lion copies.

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