Summary:

I was wondering whether or not to mention that Gwen Stefani’s new album is on the verge of being the first to break 1 million digital sales…

I was wondering whether or not to mention that Gwen Stefani’s new album is on the verge of being the first to break 1 million digital sales when I came across a report that digital music revenue tripled in the first half of ’05. The numbers released by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) show that the digital music market has now overtaken the value of the global singles market.
Granted, the amount tripled and still stayed in single digits but it’s a sign of movement; digital sales were about $790 million, up from $220 million for about 6 percent of total record industry sales. (Exclude retail margin and the results still double to $440 million.)
It’s also part of a mixed message about music: recorded music sales fell 1.9 percent to $13.2 billion in the first half of 2005, compared to $13.4 billion during the same period last year.
Press release. Also from the report:

– Digital sales are being driven by the top five markets: U.S., Japan, UK, Germany and France.

– IFPI attruibutes some of the shift to crackdowns on illegal P2P.

– UK growth was described as “explosive” with 10 times as many singles sold in 1H05 compared to 1H04, 10 million units in 1H05.

– Single-track downloads in the U.S. nearly tripled to 159 million.

– The digital figures do not include monophonic and polyphonic ringtones.

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