London (England) - Consumers spent a reported $2.9 billion on digital music purchases last year, a 40% increase over 2006, but illegal downloads are offsetting that by a rate of 20-to-1.
The outdatedly titled International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) said that last year set a new record for the digital music industry. However, the steep decline in CD sales and growth in piracy are bigger players in the fate of the music industry overall.
The IFPI said the increase in legal digital music purchases are still pretty pitiful in comparison to the billions of dollars lost from illegal downloads. In fact, the group, said, for every one track that is purchased legitimately, there are another 20 that were downloaded illegally.
In its report, the IFPI mentioned French president Nicholas Sarkozy's proposal to automatically disconnect French residents involved in piracy. It's "the most significant milestone yet in the task of curbing piracy on the Internet," said the head of the IFPI John Kennedy.
Additionally, the IFPI noted that although there was a year-to-year increase, it paled in comparison to previous years. For example, digital music sales nearly tripled between 2004 and 2005, and then doubled from 2005 and 2006. However, there was only a 40% increase from 2006 to 2007.