Bought It for a Song / Online Music Earns, But Can’t Beat P2P Staff Report

Legal online music services are gaining a larger share of the music market, but are having only a minimal impact on illicit peer-to-peer file sharing. According to Mac News World, since 2004, legal music downloads brought in over $1 billion yearly to over 300 different music download services. The week between this past Christmas and New Year’s saw record sales from legal music sites, due largely to the popularity of MP3 players as stocking stuffers. A recent E-Commerce Times article cites the music-retail tracking company Nielsen SoundScan reporting 20 million tracks downloaded during the last week of 2005. This figure more than doubled the 9.5 million-song pinnacle reached the previous week and helped push total downloads for the year to 352 million, a 147 percent increase from 2004.