Trade income from digital music increased by a quarter (24.7%) to £281.6m during 2011, with digital growth now offsetting two-thirds of the decline in income from sales of physical music product.
Total digital music income – earnings from online downloads, subscriptions, ad-supported services and mobile – now accounts for more than a third (35.4%) of UK recorded music turnover, up from 27.4% in 2010.
Geoff Taylor, BPI Chief Executive, said, “It is highly encouraging for the long-term prospects of the industry that the pace of digital growth continues to accelerate. British labels are supporting a wide range of innovative music services and music fans are embracing digital like never before.
Revenue from digital albums grew strongly in 2011 and is now almost at the same level as digital single tracks. Digital albums generated £117.8m in trade income – up 43.2% on 2010’s year-end result of £82.2m. Earnings from digital single tracks rose 11.3% to £120.5m in 2011, compared to £108.3m in 2010.
The income from subscription digital music services also grew by an impressive 47.5% during 2011, with services such as Spotify Premium, Napster, We7 and eMusic generating significant trade income of £24.0m. Advertising supported, free digital services – including Spotify, YouTube, We7 and last.fm – earned £10.7m for UK record companies in 2011, dipping 1.4% year-on-year.
Total trade income from physical formats – albums, singles and music video - fell by 14.1% overall in 2011, with revenues dropping for the eighth year in a row to £513.8m from 2010’s total of £598.0m. The 2011 market for physical albums dropped 14.4% to £484.7m compared to £566.4m the year before."