UK album sales fell in 2011 but digital downloads rose

I bought someone a Cd for Xmas recently. Why?
Because it was a last minute dash, I copped it from the 24 hour Tesco at 3am on Xmas eve. They say its the thought that counts but it actually wasnt in this case.
The person that I bought the CD for has an Iphone, an Ipad, they listen to a digital radio, they hardly use a laptop, so it was actually a bad idea as the person that I bought it for will probably never crack the seal on the packaging.
So shame on me, the thought didn’t count because I totally forgot that things have changed, even though I consume music in exactly the same way.
I should have got the person an Itunes voucher instead.

I had a massive Vinyl collection. Then I got a massive CD collection. Now I have a lot of Hard Drives full of music. Yeah, its safe to say things have changed.

BBC News posted this article yesterday on the state of the UK music industry:

Digital music sales continued to rise in the UK in 2011, but not by enough to prevent an overall decline in album sales, according to the BPI.

The music industry body said that 26.6 million digital albums were sold, a 24% rise on the previous year. However, CD album sales fell by 13% to 86.2 million discs. Overall, 6% fewer albums were sold than in 2010. The BPI blamed the decline on piracy and accused the government of taking too long to tackle the problem.

Digital downloads have recorded rapid growth over recent years. In 2007, only 6.2 million albums were bought as files over the internet according to The Official Charts Company.

The year 2011′s tally was more than four times that amount. Fifteen albums sold more than 100,000 digital copies, with Adele’s 21 proving the most popular.
However, shoppers still showed a preference for CDs, buying more than three times the number of albums on disc than downloads.

The BPI said that “physical ownership” still played an important role, but said “a backdrop of chronic piracy” posed risks to the music industry.
“While other countries take positive steps to protect their creative sector, our government is taking too long to act on piracy, while weakening copyright to the benefit of the US tech giants,” said Geoff Taylor, the BPI’s chief executive.
“The UK has already fallen behind Germany as a music market. Unless decisive action is taken in 2012, investment in music could fall again – a creative crunch that will destroy jobs.”

Its not all Doom and gloom:

While piracy may be partly to blame for the drop in album sales, the data also suggests changing buying habits. Sales of singles rose for the fourth successive year to 177.9 million copies, versus 86.6 million in 2007.
Digital copies accounted for 98% of the sales. Each of the top 20 singles of the year sold more than 500,000 copies.
One industry watcher said this underlined the fact that shoppers had become more choosy.

“People now buy the individual songs they like rather than buying the whole album because they like a single,” said Philip Buxton, an independent digital media consultant.

“So they might buy the single and then use services like Spotify and Lastfm to listen to the other tracks and are then much more selective about what they purchase.

“The implication for the record industry is that they need to embrace this new model rather than fight it.”

Check out the full article here and support your favourite artist.

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