London, UK (October 16, 2006)–Despite a global music sales decrease of four percent, sales of digital music in the first half of 2006 rose 106 percent to $945 million when compared with the first six months of last year, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). Globally, digital sales now account for 11 per cent of the total recorded music market worldwide, up from 5.5 per cent in December 2005.
The U.S. is still leading the digital revolution, with 18 per cent of recorded music sales now being made through digital channels. Digital music sales in the U.S. increased by 84 per cent to $513 million in the first six months of 2006. Digital music also accounts for a significant part of the overall market in South Korea (51 percent), Japan (11 percent), Italy (9 percent) and the UK (8 percent).
The explosion in digital music services, spurred by consumer demand and a widening array of delivery channels, has seen online and mobile music sales grow from $134 million in the first half of 2004 to $945 million in the first half of 2006.
In Japan, Italy and Spain mobile dominates the digital market, accounting for 85 percent, 76 percent and 78 percent of overall sales respectively. Online downloading is more prominent in markets such as the UK, Germany and the US, where online sales account for 70 percent, 69 percent and 64 percent of digital sales respectively.
Physical music sales declined in the first half period, down by ten per cent worldwide. This led to total music sales falling by four per cent in the period to $8.4 billion in trade values ($13.7 billion in retail values). Piracy and competition for consumer spending contributed to the first half fall.
There was growth in some markets, such as Japan (12 percent), South Korea (5 percent) and Australia (6 percent), counter-balanced by declines in Germany (-4 percent), the U.S. (-7 percent) and France (-9 percent).