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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Music industry´s sales grew in 2017

Por Damian

The revolution of online music platforms is confirmed in the statistics: the music industry documented a record growth in 2017, for the first time with a majority of digital sales thanks to the increase in streaming. The entry into stock market in early April of the Swedish Spotify, one of the main services of online transmission together with Deezer and Apple Music, illustrated the rise of this way of consuming music.

The music reported revenues of about 17,300 million dollars last year, an increase of 8.1 percent, according to the annual report of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) published last Tuesday.

Digital music sales, hitherto practically equivalent to physical sales worldwide, represented for the first time more than half of the amount, specifically 54 percent. It is the third consecutive year of growth for the industry, and the strongest increase since the IFPI began compiling the global figures in 1997.

Sales, however, have not yet returned to their levels before the emergence of the internet and music piracy, which precipitated a drop in sales in the sector since the 1990s, said Frances Moore, president of the IFPI, during a telephone press conference.

The current recovery is almost entirely due to the growth of streaming music sales: some 176 million people worldwide paid subscriptions to these services in 2017, including 64 million new subscribers, and still have a large margin of growth worldwide.

Spotify announced on Tuesday an improved version of its free application with the aim of attracting more subscribers who do not pay at the beginning, but do so later.

"We know that this is the only way to achieve our goal of attracting billions of followers to the platform and make the entire music industry as big as it should be, according to us", said Gustav Soderstrom, head of research and development of the Swedish company at an event in New York.

It was known as well that CD sales and other forms of physical music have continued to decline, with the notable exception of vinyl records that, although reduced to a band of music lovers, grew by 22.3 percent.

Stu Bergen, general manager of global commercial services at Warner Music Group, said the music industry should not become "complacent" and urged record companies to continue investing in new talent.

"We have fought too hard to get here and, after 15 years of decline, there is still a lot of room to grow," Bergen said at the press conference.