While digital music sales witness strong growth in 2009, the international recorded music industry is still in decline, and pirates are still lurking.
According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, the consumption of singles rose by 10% to 1.5 billion in 2009, and Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" led the pack with 9.8 million downloads. Digital album sales were up by 20%, with combined digital revenues reaching $4.2 billion, but revenue from CDs fell 12% in the first half of last year -- a perpetual decline that has lowered sales by 30% since 2004.
The IFPI blames that slump largely on piracy, which is accounts for some 95% of all music downloaded --despite the presence of about 400 licensed music services in 2009. "Mass piracy is continuing to hurt the industry," said IFPI CEO John Kennedy, noting that it also drives investors away from the market.