BPI-Digital

BPI Digital Distribution Guide For Independents

01 Dec 2009

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With digital distribution an essential to today’s label business and growing in market share, a variety of digital services and ways of both licensing and selling have proliferated in the past decade.

They include download services (such as iTunes), subscription services (Napster), mobile subscription services (Comes With Music), download-to-own subscription services (eMusic) and ad-supported streaming services (Spotify, we7).

Digital now makes up close to 98% of top 40 single sales and its share of album sales is growing.  From zero in 2005, digital album sales in September this year topped 1.4m – compared to just over 8m CD sales.  A total of 13m singles were sold digitally in September compared to 3m in September 2005.

In the first nine months of 2009, just under 108m singles had been downloaded, a 39% increase from the same period in 2008. Over 11m digital albums were sold in the first nine months of the year – up 55.8% from 2008.  The figures speak for themselves.

Digital is a booming part of the business and is changing both how people consume music and how you, as a record label, make money from it.  This guide outlines how you can take your first steps in offering your music digitally.