Compared a year ago, digital music sales are now double what they used to be. However, the research report by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) also said that the music industry as a whole continues to slump. Although digital music sales are still growing quickly, the growth has not kept up with shrinking CD sales. In fact, for seven consecutive years, global music sales have declined. From 2005-2006, sales figures dropped 5% from $19.6 billion to $20.7 billion.
Perhaps what is happening is that digital music sales are becoming a substitute for CDs. However, the overall decline in music sales may lie in the fact that with digital music, consumers can mix and match songs that they like, which means not having to spend more money on an entire album.
Music revenue generated from downloads increased by 85% to $2.1 billion USD in 2006, which accounted for 11% of worldwide sales for that year. By estimates, Apple Inc. holds about 70% of the online music market, which means that it virtually has control over the only growing branch of the music industry.