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Rise in global music sales for first time since 1998

Rise in global music sales for first time since 1998

NEW YORK: The recorded music industry has enjoyed its first significant growth since the dawn of the Internet age, as streaming led digital to overtake physical sales, a global trade body said on Tuesday.

Recorded music revenue expanded by 3.2 per cent in 2015 worldwide to $15 billion, fueled by an extraordinary growth in subscriptions to streaming services, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.

The growth is the first uptick in the music industry at a more than marginal level since 1998, when sales had grown 4.8 per cent year-on-year.

But the industry is still down by one-third since the late 1990s, when Internet service became mainstream in developed countries and listeners flocked to music sites, both legal and illicit.

The rapid growth of streaming — which allows unlimited, on-demand music online — led digital music to surpass sagging physical sales for the first time last year.

The industry federation estimated that 68 million people around the world had digital subscriptions, compared with just eight million in 2010 when it first kept statistics.

Published in Dawn, April 13th, 2016

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