Experts blame the internet and mass piracy for a 6.5% drop worldwide...

Music sales have decreased by 6.5% globally – with the head of an international body blaming “increased availability of free music via mass digital copying and the internet”.

As the BPI investigate the leak of the forthcoming Oasis album ‘Heathen Chemistry’ (see earlier story), figures released by the international recording industry body, the International Federation of The Phonographic Industry (IFPI), show that sales of CD albums fell globally by 5%, and there were declines in sales of singles

(-16%) and cassettes (-10%)

Jay Berman, Chairman and CEO of IFPI, blamed the devaluation of music by mass piracy. He commented: “In 2001 the international recording industry was caught in a perfect storm, buffeted by the combined effects of mass copying and piracy, competition from other products and economic downturn. The industry’s problems reflect no fall in the popularity of recorded music. Rather, they reflect the fact that the commercial value of music is being widely devalued by mass copying and piracy.”

Despite the grim news worldwide, in the UK, sales are up 5%.