Music download sales hit right note
Acts such as Lady Gaga helped sales of downloads in the UK to rocket by more than 50 per cent in a year, figures showed.
Tracks and albums bought from online retailers such as iTunes generated £154 million in 2009, according to music industry body the BPI.
Overall the music sector showed its first growth for six years, with artists such as Britain's Got Talent star Susan Boyle helping to boost income by 1.4 per cent compared with the previous year.
The music industry generated £928.8m in 2009, BPI figures show. Annual income has not risen above £1bn since 2006.
Sales of CD albums dropped by 6.1 per cent to £699 million, even with major releases by Robbie Williams and the reissues of the entire Beatles back catalogue.
Despite the increasing use of online streaming sites such as Spotify and we7, their free, ad-funded services brought in just £8.2 million, although this was a 247 per cent increase year-on-year.
Subscription services brought in £11.8m, up 37.2 per cent.
Altogether digital services account for a fifth of music revenue in the UK.
Geoff Taylor, BPI chief executive, said: "It's encouraging to see industry revenues stabilise and even show modest growth in 2009. The CD continues to show greater resilience than many predicted - it is an excellent digital product. The pace of growth of new digital services is encouraging, but the size of the market continues to be constrained by competition from illegal downloads."