IFPI Thumps ISP Agenda, Details Digital Dilemma

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CDs took a serious nosedive last year.

Now, waves of sales data are rubbing it in.

In reports circulated Thursday, the IFPI pointed to a 10 percent annual revenue decline, though specific unit sales were not disclosed. Instead, the group focused heavily on a high-growth digital story that remains underwhelming compared to physical declines. Specifically, global digital revenues jumped 40 percent to an estimated $2.9 billion, or roughly 15 percent of broader industry sales.  That puts the top-level tally at a generous $19.3 billion, a figure that is falling fast.

Incidentally, mobile-based revenues are also showing sizable returns.  In the report, the IFPI noted that digital and mobile assets combined account for 30 percent of the US-based market.  And mobile revenues in Japan are now outpacing CD sales declines, according to the report.  Those figures were part of an extremely optimistic IFPI assessment, one that suggests ultra-aggressive digital and mobile gains over the next few years.

Aside from the numbers, the trade group pointed to an urgent problem involving ISPs.  “Up until now, ISPs have allowed copyright theft to run rampant on their networks, causing a massive devaluation of copyrighted music,” said IFPI chief John Kennedy, who lauded a recent anti-piracy agreement between French ISPs, content owners, and policymakers.  In the United States, that agenda has also gained some initial traction, though a broad-based, global rollout of ISP-level restrictions presents a massive challenge.