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Global Digital Music Sales Triple

Nearly offsetting a decline in physical music sales, digital music sales tripled in the first half of 2005 to account for 6 percent of total record industry sales, according to a report from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). While digital music sales were up 6 percent in the first six months of the year -- to $790 million, from $220 million in the first half of 2004 -- physical music sales fell 1.9 percent to $13.2 billion.

The IFPI data includes the sale of a la carte song downloads, music subscription stores and mobile music services offering both full-track and master recording ringtones; sales data from monophonic or polyphonic ringtone sales were not included.

In the U.S., single track download sales were up almost threefold in the first half of 2005, to 159 million, while in the U.K., downloads increased tenfold during the period to 10 million, and similar robust download sales growth was also seen in Germany (8.5 million) and France (up fourfold to 4 million). Japan saw digital music sales of $133.4 million in the first half of 2005, the bulk of which (96 percent) came from mobile music sales.

"The digital music boom is continuing and it is growing at an exciting pace for the music industry, for online retailers and for consumers. More and more people in a growing number of countries are turning to the new legal ways of downloading music on the internet or via mobile phones," said IFPI chairman and CEO John Kennedy.

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