Music sales fell by more than 7 per cent around the world in 2003, reflecting the popularity of internet piracy, the record industry said last night.
However, Britain bucked the trend. The overall decrease in sales was 7.6 per cent but there was no fall in the UK.
The new figures came from the International Federation of Phonographic Industries and follows similar drops in previous years. An IFPI statement said: "[The] US and the UK feature at number one and number three in the world's top 10 major music markets, accounting for 37 per cent and 10 per cent of world sales. Of the world's top 10 markets, only two saw growth - Australia was up 5.9 per cent in value with the UK up by 0.1 per cent."
The IFPI said sales had fallen 20 per cent over three years. There were "double-digit" drops in sales in Germany (19 per cent down), Denmark, Switzerland, France, Sweden, Belgium, Greece and Ireland.