Retail sales of CDs were down in 2005, but music downloads doubled

Although U.S. album sales were down about 7% (according to AP), the exploding market for music downloads helped heal some of the damage.  Album sales from January through last week stood at 602 million, which is down from 651 million for the same time period last year.  Downloaded songs soared from 134 million to 333 million, an amazing increase of 148%.  Although the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) will gain from people using services such as iTunes to download music files, music retailers may be in dire trouble in the next several years.

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