Online sales of music CDs are dropping faster than traditional retail sales, with file-swapping taking the blame.
A study by comScore Media Metrix revealed that, while traditional retail music sales are down six per cent for the first half of the year, online sales fell 20 per cent over the same period.
According to the San Jose Mercury the pace is accelerating, with sales down 12 per cent in the first quarter of the year and declining 39 per cent in the third quarter.
The fall has been linked to the increasing popularity of online file-sharing and home CD burning.
Business is booming for file-swapping companies. Kazaa has more than 10 million users in the US alone, a 20-fold increase since comScore first began tracking usage in June 2001.
The Recording Industry Association of America said that the study proves that piracy undermines the marketplace for legitimate, online music and could be responsible for the collapse of online CD sales at traditional retailers.
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