Digital formats have now overtaken physical music sales in the UK, with downloads accounting for 55.5% of total industry revenues of £155.8m in Q1, according to new data. According to figures compiled by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) the impressive growth in digital boosted the record industry's overall market value by 2.7% to £155.8m and helped to offset a decline in sales of CDs.
The BPI's figures show income from digital sales has risen by nearly a quarter year-on-year to £86.5m.
However, revenue from physical formats, such as CDs and vinyl dropped by 15% and now represents just £69.3m.
The BPI's digital music revenues are based on downloads, subscriptions and ad-supported music services.
They show digital album downloads have risen significantly during the first three months of the year, by a shade under 23%, overtaking revenues from downloads of single tracks for the second successive quarter.
Last year the UK music industry as a whole was worth £795m, down 3.4% on the previous year. It was worth £1.2bn in 2003.