The IFPI has posted a sixth straight year of declining sales. The biggest loss has been in CD sales, which fell by 3.4% worldwide. Digital music has again posted some strong growth so that global sales are now worth $1.1 billion for 2005 or 8% of all sales, a rise of more than 140% year on year to 470 million tracks. Everything else, DVDs etc, were all flat. IFPI chairman John Kennedy pointed to Japan, where digital music has more than made up for the fall in physical sales, saying that this should be the way of all markets in time and that member companies were now aggressively licensing and marketing digital sales. And, of course, no IFPI report would be complete without the standard piracy/internet theft/sharing on college campuses is affecting our business riff and this year was no different.

Here’s a really well-crafted piece on the state of digital music by Chris Nickson, with quick snapshots on market movements, DRM and hardware.