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UK Music Sales Up For First Time In Six Years

LONDON (VIP NEWS) — Music sales in the UK have grown for the first time in six years, according to music industry body the British Phonographic Institute (BPI).

Revenue increased by 1.4%, bringing the total income for 2009 to £928.8m.

Download sales provided the shot in the arm, rising by more than 50% to earn £154m, compared with £101.5m in 2008.

"It's encouraging to see industry revenues stabilize and even show modest growth in 2009," said BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor.

But he warned the market was still "constrained by competition from illegal downloads".

Singles boost

Sales of CD albums continued to fall in 2009, dropping by 6.1%.

Digital income now represents over 20% of overall recorded music revenues, taking into account earnings from online downloads alongside mobile, subscriptions and advertising-supported services.

The latter, including the likes of Spotify, we7, and YouTube, increased their revenue by 247% to £8.2m. Despite this being the largest increase of any sector of the market, these revenues still represent less than 1% of the annual total.

Overall, album sales continued to fall last year, despite being boosted by a growth in digital downloads.

They dropped by 3.5% in 2009 to 128.9 million, the fifth year in a row they have fallen.

But weekly sales of singles – on CD and download – recorded an all-time high at the end of last year.

An unprecedented 4.22 million singles were sold in the last week of 2009 – more than in any previous week.

The sales boom was put down to the use of new MP3 players received as Christmas presents, as music fans downloaded a wide range of tracks, old and new.

According to BBC