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Last Updated: Monday, 11 July, 2005, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK
Online music sales hit milestone
Coldplay frontman Chris Martin
Coldplay's X&Y topped the charts in the UK and the US
The number of songs legally downloaded from the internet in the UK during 2005 has topped the 10 million mark.

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) said the figure was almost twice the level for the whole of 2004.

Meanwhile, sales of seven-inch vinyl singles have also enjoyed a revival - up 87.3% on last year.

BPI chairman Peter Jamieson said: "Despite the incredible growth in download sales it would be wrong to write-off physical formats just yet."

Battle

He added that the music industry was beginning to see benefits from the internet after recording download sales of 5.7 million for the whole of 2004.

"The record industry has enthusiastically embraced the new legal download services since their emergence in the mainstream little more than a year ago, and now we're beginning to reap the rewards," Mr Jamieson said.

There is still a huge demand for the collectible physical formats
Peter Jamieson, BPI chairman

"The battle against illegal filesharing will continue, but we are delighted to have hit this milestone so soon," he added.

Overall there has been a 52.4% improvement in single sales, with 1.4 million seven-inch singles sold.

Fans of UK indie and rock music have been given the format its best 12 months since 1998, according to the data compiled by BPI.

The best-selling seven inch single in the year to March 2005 was a limited edition reissue of Iron Maiden's Number of the Beast.

Elsewhere the format is dominated by a new generation of UK rock acts including Babyshambles, Kaiser Chiefs and Franz Ferdinand.

Increasing success

Mr Jamieson said: "There is still a huge demand for the collectible physical formats. Record companies are committed to meeting consumer demand in whatever format people want their music."

The figures also show that UK music is enjoying increasing success in the US, with 75 UK albums topping the 100,000 sales mark in 2004, compared with 66 in 2003.

Coldplay's third studio album X&Y was also the first British album to simultaneously top both the US and UK charts since the Beatles 1 collection in 2000.

"We have not seen anything like it for a decade," said Mr Jamieson.

"From Coldplay to Oasis, Dido to Gorillaz, Lostprophets to Franz Ferdinand, British music is on the march," he added.


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