Global recorded music sales down 5% in first half 2001
London, September 28, 2001 - World sales of recorded music fell by 5% in value and 6.7% in units in the first half of 2001, with declines in all major markets except the UK and France.
The falls, comparing with the first half of 2000, are attributed to several factors including economic slowdown, a massive proliferation of CD-burning and increasing availability of unauthorized internet downloads. This particularly affected CD album sales, which dropped by 4.6%.
Music sales declined in varying degrees in every region: down 5% in North America, and down less than 1% in Europe; down 8% in Asia and by a very disappointing 20% in Latin America. Among the top ten national markets, UK and France (up 10% and 8%) bucked the global trend with the help of some particularly strong release schedules.
Full-year global music sales in 2000 were worth US$37 billion. Interim sales figures do not necessarily reflect the full-year performance of the global recorded music markets because the bulk of industry turnover (traditionally around 60%) occurs in the busier second half of the year.
Mass-scale CD-R copying - namely, the burning of multiple copies of CDs, often sourced from pirate websites on the internet - has had a strong impact across all regions. Sales of blank CD-R discs dramatically increased by 80% last year and are forecast to rise a further 40% this year.
The CD albums market dropped by 5% in the US, 13% in Germany, 7% in Sweden, 24% in Denmark. There were also sharp falls in Canada, Italy, Netherlands and Belgium. Globally, CD album sales saw their first fall in more than a decade.
Sales of vinyl recordings also improved, while most territories expect stronger release schedules in the second half of 2001.
Commenting on today's half year statistics, IFPI Chairman and CEO Jay Berman said: "These are disappointing figures, showing a marked slowdown in recorded music sales across the world in the first half of 2001. Mass-scale CD copying and piracy had a particularly sharp impact on music sales. There is no doubt that multiple CD burning poses a significant threat to the recording industry and to the copyrights of song writers, artists and producers and everyone else involved in the music business.
"There is positive news, which is that demand for recorded music is fundamentally strong, and it is getting stronger everywhere. The problem is that too much music is being made available through pirate websites and by copying. That is hurting the business globally".
The slowdown in the USA, which accounts for more than 40% of global music sales, had an important impact on the world market. Europe was a more mixed picture, with several markets showing growth and a strong improvement in sales in many parts of Eastern Europe.
The music market in Latin America has been hit hard by economic problems and piracy. Mexico, the region's largest market, saw sales fall by 13%. In Brazil there was a disastrous 37% drop in value, reflecting in part the chronic levels of piracy in that country.
In Asia, the continued weakness of music sales in Japan (accounting for 19% of the world market) dragged down the performance of the continent as a whole. There were bright spots among the smaller Asian markets, with South Korea and Thailand seeing sharply increased CD sales of 44% and 20% respectively, due to the strength of local repertoire. High levels of piracy hit album sales in Malaysia, Philippines and Taiwan.
Further information and the full interim figures contact:
Adrian Strain, Communications Director Tel. + 44 207 878 7900
IFPI is the organisation representing the international recording industry, with 1400 member record companies and affiliated national groups in 46 countries.