Trade revenues for global recorded music market totaled $17.03 billion in 2009 according to the IFPI - a year-on-year decline of 7.2%.

The trade group's annual "Recording Industry in Numbers" shows that physical sales were down 12.7% on a global basis to $11.93 billion, but this was a smaller decline than the 15% slump in physical sales for 2008.

Almost 80% of the global fall was the result of market decline in the two largest music markets - the U.S. and Japan. Music sales in Japan were down 10.8% in 2009 to $4.05 billion, and the U.S. was down 10.7% to $4.63 billion.

Sales of recorded music were up in 13 markets, though. And six markets experienced what the IFPI calls the 'Holy Grail' - growth in digital sales that was strong enough to offset the physical decline. The six countries are: U.K., India, South Korea, Thailand, Mexico and Australia.

Global digital revenue increased 9.2% to $4.31 billion. Digital now accounts for 25.3% of all music sales.

Digital sales are already well established in North America - U.S. digital sales accounted for 43% of all U.S. music sales in 2009, while Canada's digital sales were 20% of its total - and digital growth across this region was only 1.1% in 2009. The overall North American market was down 10.4% with physical sales slumping 17.9%.

Europe was the second fastest growing region for digital revenues in 2009, up by 29.7%, but the region's digital share of revenues is still below the global average of 13%. The best digital growth was in Australia/New Zealand - 41.4%.

The U.K. was still the third largest market, up 1.9% in 2009 to $1.57 billion. U.K. trade body the BPI's 1.4% growth, reported this week, did not include performance rights income.

The IFPI said that Germany's market was resilient - down 3% to $1.53 billion, to put it at No. 4. Germany's physical sales represent 85% of that market, and in dollar terms the IFPI estimates that the German music retail market is worth $2.148 billion - just $5 million less than the U.K.

Following the passage of anti-piracy measures in France, that market stabilized: it was down 2.7%, in fifth place, for a total of $947.7 million.

The real horror stories in 2009 were Spain, down 14.3%, and Italy, which slumped by 17.4%.

Sweden's market soared by 11.9% in the year that the IPRED law was introduced, enabling rights holders to use court orders to oblige ISPs to hand over the details of copyright infringers. Sweden's Spotify also became a major brand in that country last year, with 1 million users in a population of 9 million.

South Korea's market increased 10.4%, following the implementation of a graduated response scheme to tackle online piracy alongside the launch of unlimited MP3 services. It is unique among major, top 20 markets in having a digital sector accounting for more than 50% - it is 55% digital, 45% physical - of the total recorded music market.

Australia was up 4.3%, with digital sales soaring 43.4% and physical sales down just 2.1%.

Performance rights income was up 7.6% for a worldwide total of $785 million. On a retail basis, the IFPI estimates that the global recorded music market was worth $25.44 billion in 2009.

Susan Boyle's "I Dreamed A Dream" was the biggest selling album around the world in 2009 with sales of 8.3 million, according to the IFPI.