Global sales of music grew for the first time
in 13 years in 2012, rising 0.3 per cent to 16.5 billion dollars, the
International Federation of the Phonographic Industry said Tuesday.
While that figure was still far from the record 1999 level of 27.8 billion dollars, the uptick in sales signified that the music industry has come to terms with the challenge posed by the internet, said IFPI chief executive Frances Moore.
"It is hard to remember a year for the recording industry that has begun with such a palpable buzz in the air," Moore said. "These are hard-won successes for an industry that has innovated, battled and transformed itself over a decade.
They show how the music industry has adapted to the internet world, learned how to meet the needs of consumers and monetized the digital marketplace."
Digital revenues increased for the second year running, rising 9 per cent in 2012 to 5.6 billion dollars, representing 34 per cent of recorded music revenues, IFPI said.
Sales of downloaded music rose 12 per cent to represent 70 per cent of digital revenues, while subscription-based services saw revenues jump 40 per cent.
The IFPI report named British singer-songwriter Adele as the top seller, with 8.3 million copies of her album, 21, sold in 2012.
Canadian pop star Carly Rae Jepsen's Call Me Maybe was last year's most popular single, with more than 12.5 million copies sold.
The IFPI said that illegal downloading remained a huge barrier to growth, with some 32 per cent of all internet users regularly accessing unlicensed sites.
"Our markets remain rigged by illegal free music," Moore said. He called on companies to stop advertising on such sites, and for search engines to prioritize music search results to direct users to licensed sites.
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