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Download sales boost music revenues in 2009, but illegal downloads are still a problem says BPI

Music sales in the UK have grown for the first time in six years, according to the latest figures from the British Phonographic Institute (BPI).

Download sales provided the biggest boost, rising by more than 50 per cent to earn £154m, compared with £101.5m in 2008.

Total revenues in 2009 increased by 1.9 per cent, bringing the total to £928.8m. Sales of CD albums continued to fall, dropping by 6.1 per cent in 2009.

Digital income now accounts for more than 20 per cent of overall recorded music revenues, according to the BPI, which includes earnings from online downloads, mobile, subscriptions and advertising-supported services.

The likes of Spotify, we7, Last.fm and YouTube increased their revenue by 247 per cent to £8.2m for the year, although this still only represents less than one per cent of the annual total.

More after the break

Album sales continued to fall for the fifth year in a row. But weekly sales of singles – on CD and download – recorded an all-time high at the end of last year.

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

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

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