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Music downloads, more than a passing fad in 2007

The British Phonographic Industry (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) were up 53 percent in 2007 to reach the 50 million mark.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.