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U.S. Album Sales Down, Downloads Up

The Associated Press reports, U.S. album sales were down about 7 percent as 2005 drew to a close, but the budding market for music downloads, which more than doubled over last year, helped narrow the revenue gap, according to figures released Wednesday.

Album sales from January through the week ending Dec. 25 stood at 602.2 million, compared with 650.8 million for the same period last year, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Combined, album and singles sales fell about 8 percent over the same time last year. More than 95 percent of music is sold in CD format. Downloaded tracks from online retailers soared to 332.7 million this year, compared with 134.2 million in 2004, an increase of 148 percent.

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