The digital music industry grew by 25% last year with sales of $3.7 billion worldwide, despite the fact that 95% of all digital music downloads were illegal according to a recent report.
Report produced by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) which represents 1,400 companies in 72 countries, has revealed that the music business has grown steadily in the past six years with downloads now accounting for a fifth of all recorded music sales.
In 2008, there were 1.4 billion single tracks downloaded legally with the biggest selling digital single being Lil Wayne’s Lollipop which sold 9.1 million copies.
The IFPI estimated that more than 40 billion music files were illegally shared in 2008 so despite the launch of many legal download services it appeared that customers still preferred to get their music free online.
The voice of the British music industry, BPI claims that the music industry in the UK lost £180 million in 2008 due to online music piracy so needs new legal protection. However, these views are not shared throughout the industry.
Executive director of the Open Rights Group in the UK said: “We are worried about by the recoding industry’s desire to clamp down on illicit file sharers.
“We need to see how much better these companies do by getting their services right before governments start pushing drastic and draconian laws forward. Growing online sales show the recording industry show the recording industry can win against illicit file sharing.”
“If companies go further and offer the same sort of experience as P2P then they will win new revenues and reduce copyright infringement, which we would welcome.”