Digital Music—Then and Now

Aug 1, 2008 12:00 PM, Compiled by Sarah Benzuly


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2003 2007
Number of legal services Less than 50 More than 500
Licensed tracks for sale 1 million 6 million-plus
Value of digital music sales ~$20 million ~$3 billion
Digital as a percentage of overall recorded music sales 0 15
Number of formats (videos, ringtones, etc.) available per artist release Less than 10 More than 100
Courtesy IFPI Digital Music Report 2008,

As you can see, a digital music market has exploded in the past five years, with consumers having access to more than 6 million tracks from more than 500 legal online services. Also, a single artist today can release an album in multiple formats, including video downloads, ringtones or mobile full tracks. For example, sales of Justin Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds comprised 115 products that sold a total of 19 million units, of which only 20 percent were in CD format.

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