Calls to curb digital piracy as sales rise by 40 per cent in 2007

Society Materials 24 January 2008 18:55 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Global digital music sales rose by 40 per cent to an estimated 3 billion dollars in 2007 but the strong growth failed to compensate for the continued slump in CD sales, the International Federation of the Phonograpic Industry (IFPI) said in a report published Thursday.

The IFPI report, released in London, said that while the industry had "fully embraced the digital revolution," the record industry was calling on internet service providers and governments to "take stronger actions on digital piracy."

Up until now, internet service providers had allowed "copyright theft to run rampant" on their networks, causing a "massive devaluation of copyrighted music," said the report.

IFPI chief executive John Kennedy called on the European Union (EU) and governments around the world to follow the example of the French government which had taken a "hard line" against internet piracy.

Figures showed that digital sales in 2007 accounted for 15 per cent of the global music market, up from 11 per cent in 2006 and zero in 2003.

In the US, the world's biggest digital music market, online and mobile sales accounted for 30 per cent of all revenues, compared with a 15-per cent share in most other countries.

The digital market was roughly evenly split between online and mobile, but showed widely varying shares in different countries, said the report.

In the US, online sales accounted for for 67 per cent of the market, while in Japan more than 90 per cent of digital sales were on mobile.

In Europe, Britain was listed as having the "most advanced mobile music market," while South Korea in 2007 became the first market where digital sales overtook physical music sales.

In China, a "huge potential" for the digital music business was held back by piracy, with 99 per cent of users not paying for downloads.

Single track downloads, the most popular digital music format, grew by 53 per cent to 1.7 billion, the report said.