Music downloads, more than a passing fad in 2007

The British Phonographic Industry Spokesman, Matt Philips, reported that the boom in MP3 players for Christmas has caused nearly 3 million music files to be downloaded in the last seven days of 2007, the highest ever recorded.

Last year, Britons downloaded nearly 78 million legal music files, which represents 90 percent of UK single sales although CD albums still constitute the bulk of purchases with only one twentieth of albums classified as downloads.

Singles by X-factors 2007 and 2006 winners have fuelled the download fest which is expected to continue in 2008 with hopes pinned on a 150+ million download target.

The BPI reckons that cheaper download and MP3 players coupled with easier and faster internet access and online music services have helped making digital downloads a real alternative to high street stores.

UK's briskness contrasts markedly with the US sluggishness in the digital music download market where digital download were up 53 percent in 2007 to reach the 50 million mark.