UK spends more on digital music than physical for the first time

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) has announced that music income from digital downloads and streaming has overtaken that of physical sales of CDs (and tapes and records and that) for the first time.

Digital accounted for 55.5 per cent of the music trade's income for Q1 2012, with income from music downloads, subscription services and ad-supported streaming all increasing.

The total income from digital sources was £86.5 million during the quarter, up by almost a quarter.

Premium subscriptions seem to be taking off at last, given that income from subscription services almost doubled across the year (93 per cent up), while ad-funded streaming from Spotify and We7 et al was also up 20 per cent.


Meanwhile, physical formats declined significantly, down by 15.1 per cent to £69.3 million.

But even now we're not seeing the death of the CD, according to BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor:

"We will need to see this trend repeated for several quarters to say we have turned the corner – demand for physical CDs remains strong in the UK, especially in Q4."

From BPI