95% of music downloads illegal

The IFPI, a body that promotes and "safeguards" digital music, has released its digital music report covering 2008.

The group notes the changes in the industry over the last year, highlighting the likes of Nokia's Comes with Music and MySpace Music, and provides its take on stats for 2008.

According to the IFPI 40 billion files were illegally file-shared in 2008 with 95% of music downloads "illegal and unpaid for", but the industry as a whole still managed to rack up sales of $3.7 billion in trade value.

Digital platforms now account for around 20% of recorded music sales, up 5% from last year, and single track downloads are up 24% with the top-selling digital single of 2008 being Lil Wayne's Lollipop with sales of 9.1 million units.

Looking to the future, the IFPI suggests that partnerships with broadband providers - such as Sky's coming-soon music subscription service - will play a big part in the industry, as will sales related to computer games and advertising-supported services.

With an overall message to fight piracy, the IFPI is calling on ISPs to help police digital downloads and "bring piracy on their networks under control" a move that was not received positively with UK consumers last year.