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Music Downloads Up, Music DVD Down

25 Apr, 2006 By: Jessica Wolf

The music DVD market continues to hang in there as the record industry deals with changing consumer behavior.

According to 2005 year-end numbers from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), music DVD unit shipments dropped for the first time, down 4.1% from 2004, to 27.8 million units. The genre still commanded nearly $540 million in retail dollar value, down just 3.8% from the prior year.

The high-resolution audio formats DVD-Audio and SACD are all but dead. Unit shipments dropped 30.8% for DVD-Audio and 40.5% for SACD in 2005 — only 500,000 units of each format hit the market last year.

The only category that slipped further off unit shipments than these two formats was cassette, which was down 52.6%. CD shipments were down 8% over the previous year, to 705.4 million units.

Meanwhile, The RIAA began tracking sales of digital music video downloads for the first time in 2005, marking that segment at 1.9 million units, or $3.7 million. Downloaded singles shot up 163%, to 366.9 million tracks, constituting roughly that in dollar amount as well — $363.3 million.

Album downloads took an even bigger upswing — up 198.5%, to 13.6 million units or $135.7 million.

The RIAA also began tracking kiosk downloads and sales of digital product for the mobile market in 2005. Kiosks chalked up 700,000 downloads, including singles and full albums. Mobile content — which includes ringtones, ringbacks, music videos and full-length downloads — clocked in at 170 million downloads, or $421.6 million.

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