Page last updated at 11:59 GMT, Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Music sales 'held firm in 2009'

Lady GaGa
Lady GaGa sold 1.4 million albums in the UK in 2009

Sales of videos, games software and music fell during the recession last year, according to the Entertainment Retailers' Association (ERA) in the UK.

But music sales only dropped by 0.8% in 2009 - the lowest fall for five years.

Video and games software sales suffered bigger losses, falling by 10.6% and 11% respectively.

ERA's members - including Tesco, HMV, Amazon and hundreds of independents - account for more than 90% of video, games and music sales in the UK.

"It's too early to say whether this is the music market bottoming out," ERA director general Kim Bayley told BBC 6 Music.

1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Game) - 2.9 million sales
2. Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince (Video) - 2.2m
3. FIFA 10 (Game) - 2.2m
4. Quantum of Solace (Video) - 2m
5. Twilight (Video) - 1.8m
6. Susan Boyle, I Dreamed a Dream (Album) - 1.7m
7. Wii Sports Resort (Game) - 1.5m
8. Lady GaGa, The Fame (Album) - 1.5m
9. Slumdog Millionaire (Video) - 1.5m
10. Transformers - Revenge of the Fallen (Video) - 1.4m
Source: Entertainment Retailers' Association

"Obviously everybody's still in the middle of a recession but I think it's certainly showing that consumers still love music so, hopefully, it's a positive note in an otherwise grey climate."

The music sales were better than expected given the disappearance of high street chains Zavvi and Woolworths, she said.

The figures also showed that the average price of a CD album dropped below £8 for the first time - to £7.99 - and that there are now just 269 independent record shops left in the UK. That is a third of the number there were five years ago.

"The large numbers [of independent stores] that are closing year on year slowed down slightly last year," Ms Bayley explained.

"The stronger stores have survived. They're a very small part of the market but they will remain quite important for launching new artists and serving their particular customers."

VHS revival

Despite a sharp downturn in games sales, the games market produced the biggest entertainment hit of the year. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 sold 2.9 million copies.

That eclipsed the 2.2 million sales for the best-selling DVD, Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince, and 1.7 million for the most popular album, Susan Boyle's I Dreamed a Dream.

In 2009, sales of PC games declined nearly 25% to 6.4 million - little more than half the level seen as recently as 2007.

One surprising result from the video industry was an unexpected upturn in sales of VHS cassettes, up from 44,377 in 2008 to 95,201 last year.

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