Latest figures from the BPI suggest that over ten million tracks have been sold via legal services in the UK during the first half of 2005. What came as much more of a surprise was a 90 percent growth in 7 inch (vinyl) sales. When CD single sales are factored in total singles sales have grown by over 50 percent. The message here is clear:
a) The legal digital download market is well and truly out of the starting blocks
b) The overall UK music market is getting back on track.
At Jupiter we are currently fielding a major new European consumer survey asking Internet users about a range of topics, including their use of legal and illegal services and the impact that the Internet has had upon their perception of music. It will be interesting to see whether this reported growth is happening despite file sharing or because of a decline in file sharing. My gut feeling is that file sharing will have only experienced a relatively minor decline. The last time we asked UK consumers, less than 15 percent said that they had cut back on their file sharing activity because of the fear of legal action.