Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Apple iTunes Downloads Rival CD Sales after Only One Week; MUSIC BOSSES HAIL ONLINE SUCCESS

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Apple iTunes Downloads Rival CD Sales after Only One Week; MUSIC BOSSES HAIL ONLINE SUCCESS

Article excerpt

Byline: MARK PRIGG

APPLE'S online music store, launched only a week ago, is already rivalling CD single sales in Britain.

The iTunes Music Store has sold 450,000 songs, compared with 500,000 CD singles in the same period, according to the Official UK Chart Company.

It is thought that Apple could overtake CD sales within months.

Before Apple's launch, the entire UK download industry had sold only 500,000 songs in the first quarter of the year, according to figures from the British Phonographic Industry Limited, which represents British record labels.

BPI spokesman Matt Philips said: "This is a landmark day, and it is fantastic news for the British music industry. For five years we have been in a transition period as people move towards downloading music online. Now we are finally there."

Dario Betti, a senior analyst for computer consultancy Ovum, said: "There was obviously a lot of hype surrounding the launch which added to sales, but we would definitely expect that downloads will be outselling physical single sales very soon.

"However, albums may take a bit longer - the price difference isn't quite great enough yet, and people also like to have a CD sleeve to read.

"I think we will also see the online chart being very different from the traditional top ten - Apple's customers are older and richer than the traditional single buyer."

The difference is easily spotted in this week's chart. …

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