Tuesday, August 18, 1998 Published at 21:52 GMT 22:52 UK
Britons lap up CDs
High prices have not affected sales in the UK
People in Britain spend more on compact discs than any other nation - a surprising fact, considering that British music lovers pay much more than their Continental counterparts for CDs.
Although the European market is growing more slowly than other countries, Europe still represents a third of all music sales in the world, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.
Figures also showed that more and more Europeans are buying homegrown tunes - 42% of sales in the past year were by European artists, the highest-ever level.
Overpriced over here
Last month the UK's Consumers' Association magazine, Which?, revealed that CDs in Britain cost far more than those sold in other countries.
The soundtrack to the blockbuster movie Titanic, for example, costs almost twice as much in the UK as it does in Hong Kong - £14.49 compared with £8.03.
The Spiceworld album, priced at £13.46, is nearly £3 more expensive in the Spice Girls' homeland than in New Zealand - £10.49.
The association first complained about alleged overcharging of CDs in 1990, but four years later the Monopolies and Mergers Commission cleared record companies of keeping prices artificially high.
However, this has not deterred millions of die-hard music fans.
The IFPI reports that while Europeans spend three times more per head on music than the average around the world, Britons shell out most per head.
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