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Last Updated: Monday, 23 August, 2004, 12:39 GMT 13:39 UK
Singles boost as UK music grows
Franz Ferdinand
Franz Ferdinand have achieved success in the UK, US and Japan
UK singles' sales have risen for the first time in five years, music industry figures show.

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) recorded a 6.4% rise in singles sales and 3.7% rise in album sales.

Sales across all music formats had a total value of 230m from April to June in the UK, compared to total sales of 221m in the same period last year.

Acts such as Franz Ferdinand, Joss Stone and The Darkness have boosted UK music sales abroad, the BPI added.

Singles format

The introduction of 1.99 two-track CD singles has helped produce the first increase in the UK singles market for five years, the BPI said.

Thirteen of the top 20 selling singles between April and June were released on this format.

BPI chairman Peter Jamieson said: "For years we've read stories about the death of the single.

This new increase in the singles market has to be welcome news
Peter Jamieson, BPI chairman
"The single never died. Consumers just opted to buy albums instead. But this new increase in the singles market has to be welcome news."

In addition to Franz Ferdinand, Joss Stone and The Darkness, UK artists such as Jamie Cullum, Muse and Lostprophets have entered the US charts so far this year.

UK acts including The Streets, Snow Patrol and Dizzee Rascall have also found success in Japan.

The BPI's music sales figures did not include sales of music downloaded legally.

Download chart

The number of legal downloads sold in the UK this year has now exceeded two million units, the BPI said.

This means sales have increased from a rate of 100,000 per month to 500,000 per month over the past quarter.

The arrival of legal music download services such as iTunes and Napster in the UK is responsible for the increase.

Sales of legal downloads will be recorded in the UK's first official download chart, to be broadcast weekly on BBC Radio 1 from 1 September.

The BBC's Quentin Sommerville
"Single sales have doubled in the past year"

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