“EMI Group Plc, the world’s third- largest music company, posted the first sales gain in five years as digital downloads doubled and fans bought albums by Coldplay, Gorillaz and the Rolling Stones. Vivendi Universal SA, owner of the biggest music company, also said music sales climbed. EMI, based in London, said sales increased almost 4 percent in the fiscal year ended March 31. Revenue from downloads jumped to 110 million pounds ($196.6 million), the company said in a statement. Paris-based Vivendi had an 8.4 percent gain in first- quarter music sales to 1.13 billion euros ($1.40 billion) with artists including Prince, Andrea Bocelli and Jack Johnson,” Bloomberg reports. “‘Digital sales are growing quite nicely, and that’s beneficial because the margins are higher’ because there are no manufacturing costs, said Nick Bertolotti, a media analyst at Credit Suisse in London. The music industry is counting on rising digital sales for mobile phones and portable devices such as Apple Computer Inc.’s iPod to counter a decline in compact disc sales. Global music sales fell 3 percent to $33 billion last year as digital sales tripled to $1.1 billion, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.”
“Downloading of songs has surged with the growing popularity of digital music players such as Apple’s iPod. The Cupertino, California-based company said yesterday that it shipped 8.5 million iPods in the first quarter, 60 percent more than a year earlier. Apple has sold more than 1 billion songs through its iTunes online music store since it opened in 2003,” Bloomberg reports.
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