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.