Digital downloads now account for 20% of all music sold, or $3.7 billion, according to IFPI figures for 2008. However, that is only 5% of music moving around online with the IFPI claiming that roughly 40 billion files were downloaded and were not paid for. That’s the downside but the upside is that digital downloads grew by 25% year on year. 

What will be interesting is how the removal of DRM in 2009 (Nokia’s Comes With Music, iTunes dropping DRM, eMusic staying healthy and emerging services such as 7Digital etc) will impact or enhance the growth of digital downloads. The most important step remains the ease of use for the customer from the point of purchase to the point of consumption – that’s still being driven by technology or industry designs/desires.

Why are 95% (allegedly) of music files being downloaded illegally because it’s easy. Legal downloading has to match that or get as close as is possible.