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Majority of music sales now digital

Last updated 09:54 31/03/2014
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New Zealand music lovers are for the first time buying more digital music than music in traditional formats.

Figures released by Recorded Music NZ show digital music sales made up just over half of all music bought in New Zealand last year, overtaking physical formats such as CDs, records and tapes.

Revenue earned from music streaming had tripled in the last three years, and digital album sales were up 3 per cent on last year.

The increase in digital music sales hasn't made up for the drop in the number of people buying physical products yet, but vinyl is making a comeback with album sales up 29 per cent since 2012.

Recorded Music NZ chief executive Damian Vaughan said he was encouraged by the numbers and said the local music industry was in a strong position.

"Music is always at the forefront of technology and as our industry is in a state of transition it's encouraging to see the rapid growth and take-up of streaming services by New Zealanders," Vaughan said.

"While our industry adapts and evolves, it's quite clear that in 2014 there are a multitude of ways to access and consume music - whether it is streaming, purchasing downloads or visiting the local record store."

The numbers were especially good for New Zealand artists and musicians - NZ digital singles were up 8 per cent, digital albums were up 45 per cent and physical albums were up 39 per cent.

Recorded Music NZ chairman Chris Caddick said the value of music to the economy and cultural landscape was significant.

"As the Kiwi music fan embraces the digital landscape, it's clear that support for NZ Music is very strong, which mirrors the phenomenal list of releases that our local artists produced in 2013," Caddick said.

2013 music sales in New Zealand

Digital sales - $27.9 million, 51 per cent
Physical sales - $27.1 million, 49 per cent
Total sales - $55 million, down 9.8 per cent on 2012.

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