Lady GaGa Take "The Digital World"

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How we buy music has changed inexorably. That is the conclusion of a newly published report on the world’s digital music market. According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, outlets such as Apple’s iTunes store accounted for 27 per cent of the world’s recorded music sales last year. The bestselling track online was Poker Face by Lady Gaga, selling 9.8 million units. Digital sales totalled $4.6 billion, a 12 per cent rise since 2008. Online sales are slowly starting to offset the decline in sales at ”bricks and mortar” record shops. Nick O’Byrne, general manager of the Australian Independent Record Labels Association, says it is a superficial milestone. ”It’s a hollow victory for record labels after enduring years of declining sales,” he said. ”Digital music still only accounts for 8 per cent of our total album sales, which pales into insignificance next to the amount of content illegally shared and downloaded.”
Sabiene Heindl, general manager of the Music Industry Piracy Investigations organisation, said inroads had been made in countries with aggressive legislation against illegal downloading. ”In South Korea, for instance, the market has rallied back,” she said. Mr O’Byrne said increased distribution to fans opened the door to other revenue streams such as merchandise sales and higher attendance at gigs. ”For fledgling artists it’s a case of being pragmatic and moving with the times, but larger labels are still struggling to come to terms with decreasing revenues from physical sales,” he said. ”What’s often forgotten is there are still thousands of people with families, mortgages and rent who are losing jobs within the music industry as a direct result of piracy.”

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