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UK Internet Digital Music Revenues Shun Piracy Fears to Surge in 2013

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014 (1:26 pm) - Score 1,367

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) has released its annual summary of digital music sales for 2013, which appears to shun the industry’s fear of Internet piracy from broadband ISP customers to report yet another strong year of growth in music downloads and online streaming.

The data reveals that a surge in the consumption of music via Internet streaming services (e.g. Spotify and Deezer) has helped the UK recorded music market to achieve another £1 billion+ (£1,043.0m) year. In fact 2013 marked the first year that data for streaming services, which added £103m to the total music retail value (up by 34% from £77m in 2012), had been properly included.

Overall UK consumers streamed 7.4 billion tracks via premium or ad-funded audio services during 2013, which is double the total of 3.7bn for 2012 and means that streamed music now accounts for 10% of the overall value of the UK music market. This is classed as a “conservative” figure because it excludes revenues from advertising that funds free streams and revenue from audio-visual streaming services such as YouTube.

Meanwhile downloads of music albums increased by 34.7% to top 32.6 million (up from the 30.4% growth recorded in 2012), although digital downloads for music singles declined for the first time by -4.2% to 175.6 million (down from a rise of +4.7% in 2012). It’s worth noting that the sale of physical CD singles fell by -41.7% in the year and album CDs dropped by -12.8% (note: digital singles sales hold 96.4% of the market but this falls to 34.7% for albums where CDs are still king).

Geoff Taylor, CEO of the BPI, said:

The success of digital music in 2013 surpassed all previous records – we celebrated the one billionth track download, counted four million-selling digital singles, and streamed more than 7 billion songs. As digital music moves into the streaming era, the prospects for future growth in the UK music market look strong.”

This year’s report makes no mention of Internet piracy (copyright infringement), although the BPI and other Rights Holders have spent much of the past year fighting it through the courts and imposing a large number of website blocks (censorship / Internet filtering) via the major ISPs.

Never the less the end result appears to be that the total retail value of music sales has remained broadly flat between 2012 and 2013, with only the addition of streaming helping to balance out what could have been a sharper fall.

But is piracy really the problem or is it that the popularity of legal streaming services, which allow you to listen to tracks several times without having to pay for them, has resulted in a lower desire to buy a more permanent copy. In either case the practice of website blocking, which remains easy to circumvent, doesn’t appear to have had much of a positive impact upon digital sales.

digital_music_sales_2013

Leave a Comment
6 Responses
  1. Avatar darren

    This tells it all the music industry is doing great with downloads and streaming there is no call for the digital economy act the goverment needs to come to it senses and do you right thing

    • Avatar timeless

      sadly that wont happen, these companies pay big money to get into legislation and if you think about it, blocking technology aligns with other ideas the government are pushing for which is why l dont think it will change.

  2. Avatar darren

    well I think the 3 strike and your out will be changed if it was implemented it its current state the anger it would cause there was no evidence that filesharing is damaging the music and film companies in fact it can be good that’s why I think 3 strikes wont happen

    • Avatar timeless

      its debatable, if the media companies keep on pushing and handing out millions in donations to those they are pressing then l doubt many politicians will will be against backing such legislation.

      the sad fact of the matter is we dont matter in most cases when they legislate things. thats especially so with this government who care more about corporate interest than they do about those with little to no money, suffice to say current politics is about greed and with the way the media companies are pushing and complaining about piracy and showing figures that show alleged impacts yet weeks later publishing figures showing they have never done better.

  3. Avatar dragoneast

    Has there ever been an animal that doesn’t want more?

  4. Avatar darren

    yes the figures show how well they are doing and there are still complaining the fact that it still hasn’t be implemented tells the story no one cares about us the act is all based on lies I hope it fails

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