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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 August 2005, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
Music buyers 'are growing older'
The Scissor Sisters
Scissor Sisters released the UK's best-selling album of 2004
The average age of music consumers is increasing, according to statistics from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

In 1999 music buyers over 30 accounted for less than half of all music sales. Now 55% of music is bought by over 30s.

The world's oldest music consumers are in Hungary and the Netherlands.

With an average 2.9 albums bought by every man, woman and child, per capita album sales are higher in the UK than in any other country in the world.

Universal is still the world's biggest recording company with a 25.5% share of the global market. Sony BMG is next with a 21.5% share, followed by EMI at 13.4%.

Increased sales

2004 was a landmark year for digital services, with more than 180 legitimate music download services launched.

Increased sales of digital music players have spurred the growth in online music, with more than 1m tracks now available from major services.

Physical product sales over the internet are also growing rapidly, representing 15% of all sales in Germany and 10% in the UK.

More than 100,000 albums - including new albums and reissues - were released in 2004.

The figures form part of the IFPI's 12th annual Recording Industry in Numbers report.

It analyses retail patterns, music charts, per capita sales and music player penetration, among other factors.

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