Feeds

Vinyl sales reach 15 year high, Blighty becomes No. 3 music buyer

You just can't trust that singing fat lady

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The UK overtook Germany as the world's third largest music market last year, according to the yearbook from trade association IFPI. The USA and Japan remain the largest two music nations.

Revenues from music recordings were about the same as last year - $16.4bn - but a slow shift from physical (down 5 per cent) to legit internet downloads (up 8 per cent) and performance rights (up 9.4 per cent) continues. Revenue from downloads has risen from 22 per cent in 2008 to 35 per cent today; physical revenue over the same period has fallen from 74 per cent to 57 per cent.

The European recorded music market is now worth €4.1bn - down from €7.1bn peak between 1998 and 2002. Licensed download services were slow to launch in some markets such as Spain, which saw an 80 per cent decline in revenue and thousands of job losses.

"The music industry simply grew complacent while Spaniards consolidated a freebie music culture," noted Billboard mag. Even Germany saw a fall of 4.6 per cent - and more than half of Germans only ever buy their music in physical stores.*

Graph showing fall and rise of vinyl record sales

Vinyl sales are recovering back to 1990s levels.

Twenty million people pay for music streaming - up from 8m two years ago - and it's now 13 per cent of all music recordings' revenue. Vinyl revenue continued to grow, by 52 per cent. Although it only adds up to $171m worldwide - which barely buys you a couple of misfiring Chelsea strikers. It's a tiny niche.

There's no sign of download sales slowing down - a real fear some years ago. The UK saw 187.8m tracks downloaded and a 15 per cent rise in full album downloads to 30.5m. IFPI points to Sweden, the most mature streaming market in the world thanks to Spotify, where per capita revenue from recorded music has risen again for the third year running, almost up to 2005 levels.

Adele's 21, the best-selling album of 2012 even though it was released in 2011, was issued by UK independent label XL, part of the Beggars Group. But there's no other indie label in the Top 50 bestsellers of 2012 - a sign of consolidation in a year that saw four major labels become three. ®

Bootnote

*It's a mystery why the entertainment industries never effectively bridged the gap between physical footfall and download sales. We were writing about M2M retail technology - which beamed songs to your phone or music player - more than a decade ago, back when it was commonplace to get information beamed to your Palm PDA. Clearly, retailers like the high margins of shifting physical stock, and record labels were besotted by controlling the movement of their product via DRM. But you have to lose some in the short term to gain in the long term. Now, with the cloud, it'll probably never happen.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.