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Digital sales put at 6% of music market

LONDON -- The digital music market has more than tripled in a year, and that has helped offset a continuing decline in sales of CDs and other physical formats.

Spurred by the iPod revolution, digital music sales totaled $790 million in the first half of this year, equivalent to 6 percent of industry sales, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry estimated in a report yesterday.

That compared to $220 million in the same period last year.

Recorded music sales fell 1.9 percent to a retail value of $13.2 billion in the first half of this year, compared with $13.4 billion in the same period last year.

The digital boom now exceeds the value of the global singles market. Sales of physical formats fell 6.3 percent by value in the period to $12.4 billion, it said.

The United States saw a drop in physical sales of 5.3 percent in value but a strong increase in digital music sales, with single-track downloads totaling 159 million in the first half of 2005, nearly three times the figure for the year ago period.

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