IFPI: Global Music Industry Revenue Increased In 2012
February 26, 2013

The IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) has released its report on global music industry revenue for 2012, and with a 0.3 percent increase in revenue to $16.5 billion, last year was the first for industy growth since 1999. The increase was attributed to downloads, subscription services and other channels, as digital revenue specifically was up nine percent (to $5.6 billion) compared to 2011. The IFPI's report also notes that "in January 2011, the major international download and subscription services were present in 23 markets. Today, they are in more than 100."

The volume of digital downloads grew by 12 percent globally in 2012, representing 70 percent of overall digital music revenue. The number of paid music subscription users grew by 44 percent last year to 20 million people worldwide.

The best-selling album around the world in 2012 was Adele's 21, selling another 8.3 million copies. Taylor Swift's Red was second, with 5.2 million. One Direction held the #3 and #4 slots, with Up All Night and Take Me Home, followed by Lana Del Rey's Born To Die, which sold 3.4 million copies around the globe.

Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" was the best-selling single last year, with 12.5 million copies sold. "Somebody That I Used To Know" from Gotye was the second-best selling track, moving 11.8 million copies, followed by "Gangnam Style" from PSY, fun.'s hit "We Are Young" and Maroon 5's "Payphone."

Frances Moore, IFPI CEO, said: "It is hard to remember a year for the recording industry that has begun with such a palpable buzz in the air. These are hard-won successes for an industry that has innovated, battled and transformed itself over a decade. They show how the music industry has adapted to the internet world, learned how to meet the needs of consumers and monetised the digital marketplace."

The IFPI noted that the biggest barrier to further industry growth is "unfair competition from unlicensed music services," adding that "Governments have a key role to play in addressing this problem. The key priority remains to secure effective cooperation from intermediaries including advertisers, ISPs and search engines, who have a major influence on levels of copyright infringement."

The complete IFPI report can be found here.

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Mark Adams
San Francisco

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