UK legal music downloads top 500,000 mark; CD sales plummet

“Britain’s fledgling market for legal music downloads broke the 500,000 mark for the year this week, giving modest hope to a music industry battered by online piracy. Overall sales in the world’s third-largest music market fell 4.3 percent in value terms for the quarter to 212 million pounds ($390 million), according to figures released Wednesday by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI),” Reuters reports.

“Sales of CD singles plummeted by 32 percent during the first quarter to 12 million pounds from the same period a year ago, the latest sign that the once lucrative format may be all but dead,” Reuters reports. “The BPI, however, hailed the download data as an important milestone… The download data comes fresh on the heels of the launch of digital service Napster, which did not contribute figures to the tally, and as UK music fans eagerly await the arrival of Apple Computer Corp’s iTunes service. This time last year, there were virtually no legal downloads, BPI said.”

Full article here.


  1. er.. napster is there.. and… they eagerly await itunes.. lmao.. that’s like some nasty fat chicks coming to the party at 8.30pm…

    “when’s the cute girls gonna show up!??!”

  2. CD Single sales are falling because people aren’t interested in singels any more. Charts are determined by things other than singles sales now, so the industry doesn’t push them so much. They didn’t make the insustry that much money anyway. They industry would probably prefer to have singles as downloads.

    CD album sales have fallen in terms of value. That may be true, but actual numbers of CDs sold have been increasing in the UK. They’ve just not been able to sell them for as much, or they’ve been selling in bulk to supermarkets who sell them for �2-�4 less than a record store. They’re happy to make less profit per item because they have a small selection and sell truckloads of them. The actual amount paid to the records companies per item has probably not fallen that much, if at all.

    The record companies would like you to think that illegal downloads are affecting them, but they’re still doing quite nicely.

    And hey, if a business model is no longer effective, change or die. And if it’s not possible to change, die anyway. Welcome to the real world. I really don’t understand why they expect any particular sympathy or special treatment or worse, false protection from the natural market.

  3. They’re using “Corp” in a weak attempt to legitimize that bogus lawsuit from Apple Corps against Apple Computer. Although I like some of their music, I hope the Beatles (or their greedy decendants) crash and burn on this one.

  4. Apple Corp is the company that is owned by the Beatles, they keep sueing Apple for the name everytime Apple does anything remotely close to music (adding speakers to Macs, iTMS), since they dont own the Beatles catalog anymore that must be their only source of incomw, lmao.
    The current lawsuit has to do with the iTMS and that people will confuse Apple Computer with Apple Corp, Apple Corp says they got all the rights to the name “Apple”, this kind of press dont help

  5. Hywel,
    That’s some interesting information you put out there, but where did it come from? I’d love to read more about that, where do you get your facts?

  6. iTunes Music Store Europe will hold your balls ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />
    We will have to wait for a month for that.
    Apple/Apple lawsuit will be settled before I can say “darn”.
    And we will have Beatles in our iPod�s

  7. These facte were read in The Independent. I don’t have a copy and I don’t have a URL I’m afraid. And it’s perhaps been dressed up slightly with my own opinions.

    The facts as I read them and recall them are that singles sales were down, album sales were up (something like 7% year on year), but revenue from album sales was down. They’re selling more, but selling them for less. This was attributed largely to the supermarkets sales which are lower price but higher volume.

    I understand if you want to take this with a pinch of salt as I don’t have a reference. C’est la vie.

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