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Last Updated: Friday, 2 January, 2004, 10:11 GMT
US album sales continue to fall
Rapper 50 Cent
Rapper 50 Cent had the year's best selling album in the US
The slump in US music sales continued in 2003, but there were signs of an upturn towards the end of the year, according to industry statistics.

CD sales fell by 2.1% to 636 million last year - compared with a decline of 8.7% in 2002, says Nielsen SoundScan.

But positive signs came in the last three months of 2003 when CD sales were up 5.6% up on the same period in 2002.

Rapper 50 Cent, jazz star Norah Jones and rock band Linkin Park were the best-selling artists of 2003 in the US.

The country has endured three years of falling sales, which has been blamed on increased internet piracy and home copying.

Online success

In a break-down of 2003's figures, sales of new CDs dipped 1% compared with the previous year.

Demand for catalogue albums, which have been on release for longer and often give record companies higher profit margins, was down 7%.

Among the good news was that music video sales were up 79% and customers also bought more alternative, jazz and Latin albums than they did in 2002.

The year has also seen success for legitimate download services like Apple's iTunes, which sold 25 million songs over the internet in the eight months since it launched.

Universal Music Group, home to artists including 50 Cent, Eminem, Limp Bizkit and Nickelback, was the biggest record company with 28% of total sales.

Meanwhile, Hip-hop group OutKast returned to the top of the US album chart to end 2003 at number one more than three months after their album was released.

The two-CD album, titled Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, has now sold 3.1 million copies in the US.

They also continued to dominate the singles chart, with two singles staying in the top two places on the Hot 100.

Hey Ya! has been number one for a month while their song The Way You Move, featuring Sleepy Brown, stayed at two.

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24 Nov 03  |  Business
50 Cent tops Billboard 2003 chart
22 Dec 03  |  Entertainment
US album sales show recovery
21 Nov 03  |  Entertainment
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19 Nov 03  |  Entertainment
Country music defies US slump
03 Jan 03  |  Entertainment
Major slump for US album sales
04 Jan 02  |  Entertainment


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