Recording Industry World Sales 2000: CD albums up, overall unit sales down 1.2%
London, April 19, 2001
Global sales of recorded music fell by 1.3% in value and 1.2% in units in 2000, with a decline in North America and other regions offsetting improved album sales worldwide and a strong market performance in several countries in Europe.
The global music market was worth US$36.9 billion, with total unit sales of 3.5 billion.
Sales in Europe rose by 1.4% in value and 1.3% in units, although individual territories showed mixed results, with Germany, France and Italy all feeling the impact of mass CD-R copying and piracy.
Sales of CD albums grew by 2.5% to 2.5 billion units, with a particularly strong increase in Europe (5.1%). Global sales of singles and cassettes fell by 14.3% and 9.4% respectively. The availability of free online file-sharing services had clear repercussions for singles sales in the world's largest market, the United States, where there was a sharp 46% drop.
There was a mixed picture in Asia (down 4.4% in value) and Latin America (down 1.0% in value), regions which both suffer from high levels of piracy.
The figures were released today by IFPI, the organisation representing the global recording industry. IFPI's membership numbers more than 1,400 record producers and distributors in over 70 countries.
Commenting on the figures Jay Berman, IFPI chairman and CEO said: "Last year was a mixed picture for the global recording industry. The downturn in the USA brought down the overall sales figures. On the other hand, CD album sales continued to rise worldwide. We also saw the first evidence of the impact of free online music, as well as the damage being done by unauthorised CD-R copying in some major markets.
"At the same time significant progress was made towards realising the huge potential of the legitimate online music market. This is becoming apparent with recent announcements, including ventures such as Duet and MusicNet, which signal our members' determination to develop this area of business."
The United States, which represents 38% of the total world music market, saw a decline in value of 1.5% and in units of 4.7% - reflecting a sharp reduction in sales of both cassettes and singles. In the US, the sales trend for CD singles has been a gradual decline over the past three years. In 2000 however, there was a dramatic 39% fall in sales of CD singles, which was attributable in part to the availability of free online music.
The decline in sales in the USA in 2000 follows two exceptionally strong years for repertoire and releases. With Canada also seeing a fall in sales in 2000, North America as a whole was down 4.8% in units and 1.8% in value.
Music sales in both western and eastern Europe varied across the region. The UK saw an increase of 3.8% in value from increased unit sales of 6.2% while France and Germany were both down 1.2% in value and the Italian market fell 4.1%. These three countries report a marked increase in CD-R copying and piracy.
Scandinavian countries were buoyant as a whole, with Denmark and Sweden up in units by 6.5% and 6.6% respectively.
In Asia, the market fell by 4.4% in value, despite an increase in units of 1.2%. In Japan, a rise in unit sales of 2.5% was accompanied by a 4.5% loss in value, the market being affected by a large number of releases of low-cost compilation albums.
Elsewhere in Asia, the higher rates of growth seen in South Korea, Hong Kong and India were more than offset by a downturn in China, Philippines and Taiwan - all suffering from very high rates of music piracy.
Sales fell in 2000 for the third time, though less acutely than in the previous two years. In value terms, the region's market fell only slightly, by 1.0%, though unit sales were down by 3.3%, mirroring the ongoing format transfer from cassette to CD.
Brazil, the largest Latin American market, showed growth of 7.6% in units and 9.3% in value but the increases reflect recovery from a disastrous 1999 and do not signal any major reversal in the country's chronic piracy problem. Mexico, the second largest market in the region, and also severely hit by piracy, was down in units.
Sales in Australasia were down - by almost 2% in units and 4.2% in value. Overall, sales in the Middle East were down, by 3.9% in units, 2.1% in value, though there was growth in individual countries such as Turkey, Oman and Bahrain.
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