Digital revenue has exceeded physical product revenue for the first time in the history of the UK record industry [via CMU].
The first quarter of 2012 saw download, streaming and other digital service revenues accounting for 55.5% of recorded music income. Though this is partly attributable to a continued decline in CD sales, digital sales have undoubtedly increased, with almost a doubling in subscription revenues from streaming platforms like Spotify.
The total digital revenue for the British record industry in the first quarter was £86.5 million; total physical sales revenue was £69.3 million. The overall figure for both digital and physical, £155.8 million, is up 2.7% on the first quarter of 2011.
BPI boss Geoff Taylor told CMU : “This is a significant milestone in the evolution of the music business. UK record labels have embraced digital to their core, supporting innovation and licensing more new online and mobile services than any other country. As a result, the industry’s prospects for growth look brighter than for several years”.
He added: “We will need to see this trend repeated for several quarters to say we have turned the corner – demand for physical CDs remains strong in the UK, especially in Q4. However, the creativity, investment and digital expertise of the British music industry point the way forward for growth in the UK economy.”