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Legal download sales up 47%

March 15, 2007

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A recent market research done by NPD Group reports that legal download sales were the fastest growing digital music category in 2006 and that while user growth on illegitimate peer-to-peer services slowed, the total number of files downloaded on file-sharing networks was up 47% from 2005.

NPD vice president Russ Crupnick sais “It is likely that the annual number of legal users will surpass P2P users in 2007” though he adds “Unfortunately for music labels, the volume of music files purchased legally is swamped by the sheer volume of files being traded illegally.”

The U.S. counted 47 million “digital music households” in 2006, consisting of at least one member who downloaded, ripped, burned, played or uploaded a song.

Nearly 13 million of them paid for a download, with the total number of paid downloads exceeding 500 million — a 56% jump from 2005.

Fifteen million digital music households downloaded a song from a file-sharing service in 2006 — an 8% increase, but a slower growth rate than prior years.

However, the estimated total number of P2P downloads was 5 billion in 2006, up from 3.4 billion in 2005.

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