Global music sales down 5% in 2001
London, April 16, 2002
London, April 16, 2002 - The global music market fell 5% in value and 6.5 % in units in 2001. Demand for recorded music worldwide is estimated to have been stronger than ever before, but much of the fall in sales is attributed to the increased availability of free music via mass digital copying and the internet.
Recorded music sales worldwide fell to US$33.7 billion. Sales of CD albums fell globally by 5%, and there were declines in sales of singles (-16%) and cassettes (-10%). The figures were published today by IFPI, the organisation representing the recording industry worldwide.
Commenting on the figures, Jay Berman, Chairman and CEO of IFPI, said: "In 2001 the international recording industry was caught in a perfect storm, buffeted by the combined effects of mass copying and piracy, competition from other products and economic downturn. The industry's problems reflect no fall in the popularity of recorded music: rather, they reflect the fact that the commercial value of music is being widely devalued by mass copying and piracy.
"The record industry is responding. It is developing new business models, new payment systems and a new legal environment for the future on-line legitimate business. And it is acting decisively using anti-copy measures on CDs and internet anti-piracy actions to protect the business that it depends on today. These measures of self-protection are essential to stop the widespread erosion of record producers' and artists' rights".
Two major markets - France (up 10%) and the UK (up 5%) - significantly bucked the downward trend. Both countries saw exceptionally robust sales of domestic artists in 2001, which helped offset the worldwide fall in sales of the biggest international artists.
Eighteen of the 20 top-selling albums in France carried French repertoire; in the UK, domestic artists accounted for the top seven best-selling albums last year.
Three of the world's top five markets - the US, Japan and Germany - attribute a significant part of their sharp drop in recorded music sales in 2001 to the proliferation of free music and piracy.
The effect was felt on CD sales, in most of the markets of North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. Declines in market value in 2001 ranged from 4.5% in the US and 9.6% in Canada to 9.2% in Germany, 8.6% in Italy, 9.8% in Austria, 14.8% in Denmark and 9.4% in Japan. The pressure from mass copying was aggravated in many markets by the global economic downturn, particular in the last quarter of the year.
Surveys in the most affected countries, notably the US and Germany, show that mass copying and internet piracy is directly replacing sales of CDs. Sales of domestic artists fared well in many major markets, notably in France, Italy, UK, Spain and Australia. The average share of national markets accounted for by domestic artists has risen 1% a year to 68% over the last decade.
In Germany, 18% of 10,000 consumers surveyed said burning CDs resulted in them buying less music. In the US, nearly 70% of people who downloaded music burned the songs on to a CD-R disc, while 35% of people downloading more than 20 songs per month said they now buy less music as a result.
Three markets with vast populations and among the lowest per capita music consumption rates in the world - China, Russia and India - saw encouraging growth in 2001 on the back of economic improvement. Sales in China grew by 15%; growth in India was 15%, and in Russia 17%.
Many developing markets saw an increase in commercial piracy, driven by the accelerating spread of organised CD-R pirate operations. Piracy, combined with economic crises, particularly hit markets in Latin America. The most dramatic impact on legitimate sales occurred in the region's two largest markets, Brazil (down 25%) and Mexico (down 16%). A similar situation exists in parts of Eastern Europe, with Poland down 28%.
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