ARIA releases half-yearly sales figures
Digital sales continue to grow offsetting physical decline · Influx of new Australian
acts keeping company with chart toppers
14 August 2008 (SYDNEY) – The Australian recorded music business is showing
positive signs of recovery as digital sales start to strongly compensate for the continuing
decline in the traditional physical (CD) business.
The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) today released its six-month
wholesale figures for January to June 2008 – figures which demonstrate the beginning of
a remarkable transition to a whole new economy that is still only in its infancy. Despite a
four per cent decrease in overall revenues (when compared to the same period last year),
that decline was limited to sales of physical product such as CD singles and albums.
Conversely, total digital sales were up 43 per cent in value, helping to offset the decline
in physical sales.
ARIA Chairman Ed St John, commenting on the figures, says “A four per cent drop on
the same period last year might not sound like a cause for celebration, but the fact is this
is a considerably shallower decline than we’ve seen in recent years. The growth in digital
sales – both single tracks and albums – has almost doubled and that’s an incredibly
encouraging statistic. This is only the beginning of a whole new cycle for the Australian
Digital sales continue to grow
The first half of 2008 has seen consumers re-embrace the Single format – only this time
it’s single track downloads instead of CD singles or 7” vinyl. Echoing a worldwide trend,
song downloads increased by a whopping 58 per cent (by value). The ratio of digital
singles to physical singles is now 20:1, making this format the “first swallow” of the
Australian consumers purchased over 12 million digital tracks in the six months to June,
up from almost 8 million last year and compared to the 640,000 physical singles shipped
in the same period. Digital albums are also increasing in popularity with 55 per cent more
units sold, for a total value of more than double the figure for the same time frame last
year. Nonetheless, consumers purchasing albums still overwhelmingly prefer to buy
them in physical format (CD). CD album sales still accounted for more than 95 per cent
of all album sales.
The first half of 2008 also marked the first time a digital-only single went to number one
with Rihanna’s Don’t Stop the Music. A number of other hits have now achieved the #1
position and have had sales well in excess of 100,000 units apiece, thanks to the growing
acceptance by Australian music fans of the digital shopping experience.
Increase in Music DVD Sales
The music DVD format performed particularly strongly in the six months to June 2008 –
thanks in part to the phenomenal success of Andre Rieu. More than two million music
DVDs were purchased in Australia during this period, representing a thirteen per cent
increase over last year.
Influx of new Australian acts keeping company with chart toppers
Home-grown Australian music continues to excite local fans – in fact domestic music
accounts for approximately one-third of all acts on the Motorola ARIA Charts. A mix of
established Australian chart acts like Missy Higgins, Powderfinger, Delta Goodrem, The
Veronicas and Keith Urban shared the limelight with new talent such as Carl Risely, The
Potbelleez, Angus and Julia Stone and Axel Whitehead and independent success stories
John Butler Trio, Sneaky Sound System, British India and The Getaway Plan.
So far this year, six Aussie acts have already had a number one album or single with only
two artists, Kasey Chambers and Pete Murray, having been at the top spot previously.
New local acts to hit number one on the Motorola ARIA Charts in the first half of 2008
include Gyroscope, Gabriella Cilmi, Cut Copy and The Presets. ARIA will recognise
these and all other Australian artists who reach number one in 2008 at its annual ARIA
#1 Chart Awards in early 2009.
Optimism for second half of ‘08
Australian record companies are tipping a strong second half to 2008 thanks to a schedule
of major domestic and international releases and another bumper Summer of festivals and
The ARIA Awards – recognising excellence in local Australian music – take place on
October 19, 2008.
ARIA is a national industry association representing major and independent record
producers, manufacturers and distributors. It acts as an advocate for the Australian music
industry, administers the labeling code of practice, provides a ‘blanket’ non-exclusive
licensing function for copyright users and compiles industry information and research.
For more information: http:www.aria.com.au/
More Information...2008 ARIA Yearly Statistics
Contact: Nicole Hart
Revolutions Per Minute PR
Ph: 0418 324 312