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CD sales drop as customers turn to downloads

Numbers dropped 15% in first six months

A CD stack

All DVD players can also play CDs

Songwriters made 15% less money from CD sales in the first six months of the year as consumers choose to download music from the internet, latest figures reveal.

Half-year results from the MCPS-PRS Alliance, which collects royalties for songwriters, composers and music publishers, showed that £74.7 million was made from sales of physical formats, such as CDs and DVDs, down from £82.3 million in the same period last year.

It said that within that, CD sales dropped 15% in the first six months of the year.

Public performances

But sales collected from songs played in public performance, including and bars and workplaces, rose 9% to £70.5 million in a sign of the changing dynamics in the music industry.

The Alliance added that money from live concerts rose 5.4%.

Income from broadcasters and internet sites also raced ahead, up 13% to £82.3 million, as songwriters were able to negotiate deals with online providers to allow users to download songs.

Online royalties rocketed by more than 40% year-on-year to £7 million thanks to the continued growth in the licensed online music market led by iTunes.

iTunes and YouTube

Steve Porter, chief executive of the Alliance, said: ‘We are making inroads into the online market with our groundbreaking licensing deals with iTunes, YouTube and Bebo, with further gains anticipated in the year.

‘The decrease of 15% in CD sales was overturned by innovation and growth in licensing in other areas of the business.’

The Alliance collected a total of £286.1 million in the first six months, up 6% from £271 million a year earlier.

It collected £562.1 million over 2007.

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