"...A 46% drop in the sale of record singles in the United States last year underlined the effects of Internet downloads as the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry on Thursday reported a 1.3% drop in global sales of recorded music to $36.9 billion. This compares with a year-on-year worldwide rise of 1.5% in constant dollar value to $38.5 billion in 1999, the trade organization said in its annual compilation Recording Industry World Sales 2000. Global unit sales in 2000 dropped 1.2% to 3.5 billion from 1999.
Overall sales of CD albums in 2000 increased by 2.5% to 2.5 billion units, with Europe showing the strongest growth (5.1%). But worldwide sales of singles dropped 14.3% and cassettes 9.4% as fans turned to Napster style Web sites for their music. IFPI chairman and CEO Jay Berman said the year was a mixed picture for the global recording industry, with the downturn in the United States bringing down overall sales figures but with CD album sales continuing to rise. "We also saw the first evidence of the impact of free online music as well as the damage being done by unauthorized CD-R copying in some major markets," Berman said.
The situation was varied in Europe, with the United Kingdom experiencing a 3.8% increase in value and a 6.2% gain in units sold. But France and Germany were each down 1.2% in value, and Italy was down 4.1%, with all three countries blaming an increase in illegal CD-R copying and piracy. The IFPI reported that the Asian music market fell by 4.4% despite a 1.2% rise in unit sales. In Japan, the dichotomy was explained by a boom in low-cost compilation albums, while China, Taiwan and the Philippines all suffered high rates of piracy..."