“Britain’s fledgling market for legal music downloads broke the 500,000 mark for the year this week, giving modest hope to a music industry battered by online piracy. Overall sales in the world’s third-largest music market fell 4.3 percent in value terms for the quarter to 212 million pounds ($390 million), according to figures released Wednesday by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI),” Reuters reports.
“Sales of CD singles plummeted by 32 percent during the first quarter to 12 million pounds from the same period a year ago, the latest sign that the once lucrative format may be all but dead,” Reuters reports. “The BPI, however, hailed the download data as an important milestone… The download data comes fresh on the heels of the launch of digital service Napster, which did not contribute figures to the tally, and as UK music fans eagerly await the arrival of Apple Computer Corp’s iTunes service. This time last year, there were virtually no legal downloads, BPI said.”
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