“Visits to music downloading websites saw a 50 per cent rise on Christmas Day as hundreds of thousands of people began loading songs on to the iPods they received as presents,” Maija Palmer reports for The Financial Times. “According to figures from Hitwise, the online intelligence company, visits to music download sites, such as Apple’s iTunes Music Store, saw a 50 per cent increase between December 24 and 25. Hitwise also found that visits to download sites were 15 per cent higher than last Christmas.”

“Even before the Christmas increase, the BPI, the UK record companies’ trade association, said download sales had topped 23m this year, five times the 4.7m sold in 2004,” Palmer reports. “Some analysts expect Apple to have shipped 37m iPods worldwide by the year-end, with about 10m sold in the key Christmas quarter.”

Full article here.
iTunes Gift Certificates contributed as well. People getting their first iPod would probably be loading CDs into iTunes before buying songs online, but iTunes Music Store customers who got gift certificates most probably were online buying that day.

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