Legal music downloads outsold some of their physical counterparts for the first time in January 2004, according to figures released today by trade organisation the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). Last month, over 150,000 downloads were sold in the UK - measures as downloads from UK URLs to known UK IP addresses - with the launch of MyCokeMusic alone generating 50,000 sales in its first week online, outstripping vinyl, cassette and DVD sales, although CD singles still dominate the sales breakdown.
Tests of the UK's first official download chart are underway, and according to the Official Chart Company, plans to integrate downloads into its singles chart are expected to follow later this year. The news comes at a point of mixed fortunes for the British music industry. While album sales in the UK continue to grow, downloads, both illegal and legal, have taken a bite out of the singles market. In 2003, unit shipments were down 30.7 per cent to 36.4 million and value was down 33.6 per cent to Â£64.4 million compared with 2002.
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News source: The Reg