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  Music websites could replace record shops
Updated 24 July 2003, 13.53
Music websites could replace record shops as the place to buy singles
Downloading singles from the web could soon be more popular than buying them from a shop.

Loads more people are ordering their fave songs from the comfort of their own homes, rather than taking a trip to their local music store.

Music experts reckon that in five years time, downloading singles from the web could replace popping to the shops as the most popular way to pick up new releases.

Matt Bellamy from Muse, who sold 5,000 copies of one of their tracks on the web
Matt Bellamy from Muse

Drop in sales

Shops have reported a massive drop in single sales - they've gone down 37% compared with this time last year.

But loads of official music download sites are doing really well.

A track by rock band Muse was recently made available for 99p to web-users.

Around 5,000 copies were sold, which would have been enough to put the single in the top 40.

New top 40 planned

The music industry also has plans to launch a new top 40 based on both internet and shop sales.

It also wants to make sure that there are plenty of sites for buying music, to help stamp out illegal downloading.

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