Digital music revenues grew 23.6% year-on-year.
For the first time the amount of money made from digital music services has outstripped the sale of traditional CDs and records, according to first quarter revenue figures from music industry trade body BPI.
The BPI said that in the first three months of the year consumers spent a total of £155.8m on music, up 2.7% year-on-year.
Digital music revenues – which includes buying tracks as downloads, paid-for subscriptions and ad-funded services from companies such as Spotify, Napster, We7 and eMusic – accounted for 55.5%, £86.5m, of that total.
Digital music revenues grew 23.6% year-on-year, fuelled by big sales of Lana Del Ray songs and the album Born to Die.
While digital singles have long been a big revenue earner the sales of digital albums have taken some time to catch on.
The BPI’s report shows that digital album sales are now healthy, up 2.7% year-on-year in the first quarter to account for £35.9m of total digital revenues.
Sales of physical formats such as CDs fell by 15% to £69.3m.
The BPI said that it is the first time in Britain that digital music sales have outpaced traditional CDs and records.
In addition, the fact that total sales grew marks a tipping point where digital revenues are now capable of bridging the inexorable decline in physical sales.
“This is a significant milestone in the evolution of the music business,” said Geoff Taylor, the chief executive of the BPI. “As a result the industry’s prospects for growth look brighter than for several years. We will need to see this trend repeated for several quarters to say we have turned the corner”.
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