LONDON, UK – Digital musical sales in the UK have outstripped revenues from physical formats like CDs and records for the first time ever, figures compiled by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) show.
According to The Guardian, the BPI reported on Friday that in the first three months of 2012 consumers spent a total of £155.8 million ($240 million) on buying music, with digital music revenues – including the purchase of songs as downloads, paid subscriptions and publicity-funded services from firms like Napster – accounting for 55.5 percent, or £86.5 million ($133 million), of the total.
While overall spending on music increased 2.7 percent from the same period in 2011, digital music revenues grew 23.6 percent year-on-year, The Guardian reports.
BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor told the BBC that the figures represented a "significant milestone in the evolution of the music business".
"UK record labels have embraced digital to their core, supporting innovation and licensing more new online and mobile services than any other country," he said, adding that “the industry's prospects for growth look brighter than for several years."
According to The Daily Telegraph, the transition in Britain to an environment where downloading and streaming represent the majority of revenue echoes the situation in the US, where digital music purchases accounted for more than 50 percent of record industry revenue through last year.