US CD Sales Up 10%

With sales of CDs up 10.6% for far in 2004, figures in a new report from Neilsen represent the best year the American music industry has seen for some time.

All music sales (including legal downloads, music on DVDs and CDs) were up 9.2% in the first quarter of 2004.

The data for the survey was collected by Nielsen’s Soundscan system which collects data from 14,000 point of sale registers across the US and Canada.

Record companies, fresh from a three year slump, were claiming an ongoing decline blamed on piracy. Some industry observers still blame the slump on the labels and artists themselves, with a dearth of quality product in the market to drive sales.

Record labels are still cautious about the upswing, and are taking nothing for granted, and is citing surveys that indicate piracy has decreased since the RIAA started taking people to court.

Neilsen Soundscan

Silicon Valley

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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?