Global music sales stayed flat in 2004, according to IFPI. US and UK exhibited some growth, 2.8% and 4.5% respectively, but the rest of the world markets reported declines, balancing out the growth numbers. 47% of all music is sold in the US and UK.
Sales of physical formats (which includes CDs and cassette tapes) declined by 1.3% in value (and by 0.4% in units) to $33.6 bln. Music DVD sales rose 23% and have doubled their share of the world music market from 4% in 2002 to 8% in 2004 – with a value of $2.6 bln dollars. CD sales increased in 36 markets in volume terms in 2004, with positive performances in some major markets but also a growing switch from cassette to CDs in developing markets in Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Digital sales rose exponentially, with the total number of tracks downloaded in 2004 (including album tracks) up more than tenfold on 2003, to over 200 mln in the four major digital music markets (US, UK, France, Germany). The trend has continued in 2005, with digital sales in the US in the first two months more than double that of the same period in 2004.
A grand total of 8 albums sold more than 5 mln copies in 2004, up from 5 albums in 2003. Among the albums: Confessions by Usher; Feels Like Home by Norah Jones; Encore by Eminem; How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb by U2; Under My Skin by Avril Lavigne; Greatest Hits by Robbie Williams; Greatest Hits by Shania Twain; Destiny Fulfilled by Destiny’s Child.