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factfile1.11 Digital Media for Entertainment 3


itunes closeupThe first music CDs were launched in 1982 but took a few years to become popular with music buyers. The first album to sell more than a million copies on CD was Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms in 1985. Since then music sales have increased rapidly.

The popularity of the internet has seen more people downloading music, both legally and illegally. Online stores such as Napster and iTunes changed the way people buy and access music by allowing the purchase of whole albums or individual music tracks.

In 20010 roughly 120 million albums were sold in the UK of which 82% of these were sold as actual CDs. In 2007 95% of albums were sold as CD's.

The digital revolution has boosted the sales of singles, with 164 million being sold in 2010, up from 87 million in 2007. In 2010 98% of all singles sales were digital. This is impacting on album sales, which continue to fall each year.

Music Sales

Some bands now release songs for free on the internet to generate interest in the band in the hope that if people like the free song they will then buy the rest of the album. in 2007 Radiohead released their album "In Rainbows" as a download before it was released on CD and asked fans to choose their own price for it. The average price paid was £4.

Did You Know? It is estimated that 1.2 billion music tracks – 76% of the total – were illegally downloaded in the UK during 2010 (source).


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