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IFPI ANNUAL REPORT: GOOD NEWS OR BAD NEWS? DEPENDS ON HOW YOU LOOK AT IT

Media outlets spun Tuesday’s IFPI report on the 2014 performance of the music biz in oppositional ways. The glass-half-full contingent, including The Wall Street Journal, emphasized the stat that worldwide digital sales edged ahead of physical sales for the first time last year. The glass-half-empty contingent lamented that overall revenue failed to hit $15 billion for the first time, topping out at $14.7 billion.

Specifically, sales of CDs and other physical formats declined 8%, to $6.82 billion, while digital revenue grew nearly 7%, to $6.85 billion. Each category represented 46% of overall music revenue. The other 8% came from sources including radio airplay (ex-U.S.) and licensing songs for TV and films.

Zeroing in on streaming, sub services accounted for 23% of digital revenue, while ad-supported services comprised 9%. Altogether, streaming made up nearly a third of total digital revenue and grew 39% from 2013.

Download sales decreased by 8% on the year but still represented 52% of digital revenue.

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