Legal Music Downloads Reach New Highs

There were more than 150,000 legal music downloads in the UK in January 2004, putting downloading in second place behind buying singles for the first time. Although there were still about 341,500 singles sold in in that month, these figures show that legal music downloads are increasing in popularity all the time.

We feel that if there were more options for people to easily download music, then the CD single would die even quicker – it will be interesting to see what happens when iTunes eventually opens up shop in the UK later this year.

Of course, now that record labels are producing “copy protected” CDs with deliberate errors that do not play in many CD players (owners of car CD players be especially wary), and are difficult to rip, this may have the effect of driving more users to download sites.

MyCokeMusic has been an enormous success prompting many more people to download music, the January 19th launch was followed by 50,000 downloads in one week – we’ll be watching to see what the figures will be for February.

The Official Chart Company is now compiling figures on music downloads, and intends to issue a download chart in the future. Hopefully when this appears users will be able to buy music directly from the chart listing itself and will increase sales even further.

The Offical Chart Company

The Register on this week’s launch of “copy crippled” CDs

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?