London — Worldwide music sales rose nearly 10% in 2018, a fourth consecutive year of growth fuelled by online streaming, according to figures released on Tuesday by an industry body. Revenues reached $19.1bn in 2018, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (Ifpi), which represents the recorded music industry worldwide, said in its Global Music Report 2019. “We are now much more optimistic,” said federation CEO Frances Moore, describing the period prior to recent growth as a “mourn-fest” when “we only had bad years”. However, the overall growth of 9.7% in sales masks a discrepancy within the industry, with streaming buoyant — accounting for almost half of revenues — while downloads and physical purchases continued to drop. The streaming sector, which includes subscription fees and advertising income, grew 34% to reach $8.9bn in 2018. There were 255-million users of paid streaming services at the end of the year, according to the report. However, paid downloads fell ...

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