Music sales figures demonstrate that consumers still prefer their albums on CD even as digital track sales continue to rise – and homegrown talent performs strongly again


ARIA releases 2007 wholesale music sales figures



19 March 2008, SYDNEY –The recording industry wholesale sales figures released today by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) show that the physical format continues to dominate the market, with Australian artists once again making a very strong contribution to overall sales.  Digital wholesale sales in total also increased significantly and were up 126 per cent in unit sales and 43 per cent in dollar value, generating approximately $40 million in wholesale revenues (compared to $28 million in 2006).


In 2007, wholesale revenues from physical format sales accounted for over 90 per cent of total music sales, taking in more than $422 million. The figures show that album sales are still overwhelmingly in CD format with Australians purchasing over 32 million physical albums, compared with approximately 790,000 digital albums (or just over two per cent of the album market) during the same period.


Sales of digital track downloads continue their substantial rise, more than making up for the decrease in sales of physical CD singles. Compared to 2006, digital track sales increased in both value and units by 60 percent with sales of $18.7 million on 17.6 million digital tracks. The numbers back a global trend which saw the single track download market grow by 53 per cent around the world to 1.7 billion*.


The significant impact of the of the digital single is evidenced by last month’s first digital-only #1 single, Rihanna’s Don’t Stop the Music.  This single debuted at #1 on the Motorola ARIA charts based on digital sales alone.


The substantial growth in the ‘Digital other’ category which includes sales of digital music videos, mobile ringback tunes, streams and subscriptions saw the biggest growth in 2007, with more than a 500 per cent increase in units sold over the previous year. Consumers bought more than 23 million of these digital products – 20 million more than last year.


Even though the overall wholesale figures for the market showed a decline in total revenues of just under 10 per cent, this was an improvement on the mid year decline of 13 per cent. The key contributor to the decline was a slowing of CD sales in both value and volume. Competitive products and services (such as mobile phones and console games) and illegal file-sharing continue to adversely affect sales figures.  ARIA is calling on Australian ISPs to pay their part in stopping illegal music traffic over their networks by implementing the industry’s notice and disconnect proposal (which has already been implemented in France and which is under active consideration by the UK government).



In summary, key wholesale statistics from January to December 2007 are as follows:


  • Almost 52 million physical units sold (single, vinyl album, cassette album, CD album, music video/DVD or other physical format)
  • Over 32 million physical albums were sold
  • Physical sales totaled over $420 million (wholesale)
  • Digital sales are up 43 per cent in value from last year and totaled almost $40 million
  • 60 per cent growth in the volume of digital track sales from 2006 – totalling 17.6 million units at a wholesale value of $18.7 million
  • Other digital sales are up more than five times in compared to 2006
  • Total physical sales down over 12 per cent (both in value and volume)
  • More than 5 million music DVDs accounted for $53 million in sales – an increase of 7.8 per cent in value
  • Over 780,000 digital albums sold, an increase of over 88 per cent on 2006, representing around two per cent of the overall album market

Australian Recordings


Of the top 100 selling albums of 2007, Australian repertoire represented 34 per cent of sales by volume, with 36 Australian albums in the top 100. In fact, four of the top 10 selling albums were by Australian artists, namely:


4. On a Clear Night, Missy Higgins

6. Dream Days at the Hotel Existence, Powderfinger

7. Grand National, John Butler Trio

9. Young Modern, Silverchair


In addition, 10 Australian hits made the 50 top-selling digital tracks chart for 2007, including releases by Silverchair, Thirsty Merc, Sneaky Sound System, The Veronicas, Delta Goodrem, Ricki-Lee, Evermore and TV Rock.


Media Inquiries: contact Nicole Hart 0418 324 312


*Digital Music Report 2008, IFPI

Click here for statistics table



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