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Web music sales nearly double

January 18, 2007|From the Associated Press

Global online music sales nearly doubled in 2006 to about $2 billion, or 10% of all sales, but failed to compensate for an overall decline in sales of compact discs, the music industry trade body said Wednesday.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry also said it would sue Internet service providers if they continued to allow identified digital music pirates to use their networks.

"We don't have the Holy Grail of digital [online sales] offsetting the decline of CDs as yet," federation Chairman John Kennedy said in London after the release of the report.

Kennedy said overall music sales fell about 3% in 2006.

The federation said early last year that it expected online sales to grow enough to compensate for the global declines the industry has recorded over the last five years because of illegal file sharing, piracy and competition from new media.

The report, however, showed that growth in online sales had slowed compared with 2005, when sales nearly tripled to $1.1 billion from $380 million in 2004.

Kennedy said he hoped online sales would compensate for the decline of CDs this year.

The federation report predicted that online sales would account for a quarter of worldwide sales by 2010.

Kennedy pointed to mobile music sales as a major growth area this year with the launch of Apple Inc.'s iPhone and the development of music phones by Nokia Corp. and Sony Ericsson.

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