Record companies have reported their fastest revenue growth in nearly two decades, as the rise of subscription streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music offset declines in CD and download sales.
Total industry revenues grew 3.2 per cent to $15 billion in 2015, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, an organisation that represents recording companies. This is the highest rate of sales growth in the sector since 1998.
Frances Moore, IFPI chief executive, said: "After two decades of almost uninterrupted decline, 2015 witnessed key milestones for recorded music: measurable revenue growth globally; consumption of music exploding everywhere; and digital revenues overtaking income from physical formats for the first time."
British singers Adele and Ed Sheeran were the top selling recording artists of the year, followed by Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and One Direction.
However, Ms Moore argued that the industry's revenues should be much higher, claiming that certain streaming services such as Google's YouTube were paying too little to record labels for the use of their songs.