Legal downloading is no threat to CD sales says report

LONDON - Legal music downloading through the internet is complementing rather than eroding CD sales, according to a new report.

Contrary to opinion that the increasing popularity of music downloading will eventually make CD album and single sales obsolete, people still want to own hard-copy music and 92% of people said that CDs are their preferred music format.

The latest findings from Entertainment Media Research found that people buy legal downloads when the music they want is not available in-store, or to help them decide whether to buy a CD or not.

More than 60% of the 1,400 respondents said that they were likely to use legal music downloading to get hold of tracks because it was not in music stores, and over 50% said that they used legal downloads to get a few tracks from recent albums.

Getting hold of music quickly was another strong impetus for the use of music downloading, according to the survey.

"The CD continues to exert a very powerful emotional hold over legal downloaders," the study said. "When asked about buying CDs in the future, 80% of the sample claim that they will buy as many or more."

Earlier this week, The Darkness revealed that they would be selling chart-eligible copies their albums and singles to be downloaded directly from their website.

  • The Consumers' Association has made an official complaint to the Office of Fair Trading over possible anti-competitive practice of the music download site iTunes. The association says that in the UK, iTunes charges consumers 79p, which is about €1.20, for a track, while in France and Germany the cost is just 99 cent, leaving UK consumers to pay a price differential of around 20% more for an identical service.

    Phil Evans, principal policy adviser at the Consumers' Association, said: "There appears to be considerable evidence that the iTunes set-up is prejudiced against the UK public and distorts the very basis of the single market. If the OFT agrees it will be another example of the rip-off culture that the British public are often victims of."

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