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Album sales reach an all-time high

Dido's Life for Rent topped the album sales figures in 2003 after shifting over 2.1 million copies.
Sales of music albums in the UK hit an all time high in 2003 according to the latest figures from the UK Charts Company - figures which cast a whole new light on the recording industries claims that peer-to-peer file sharing and piracy will kill the music industry.

The total number of albums sold rose by over 7% to a total of 159.3 million units while sales of singles dropped by around 30%. These figures may show the effect that music downloads are having on the industry. It's becoming increasingly evident that on the whole, people aren't downloading full albums, but instead they're using the ease of access to free tracks to sample a taster of what artists have to offer.

If people enjoy a couple of tracks they download, they more often than not go out and pick up the full album.

Despite the rises, the increase in album sales hasn't turned to an increase in profits for the record companies and this can almost certainly be attributed to the general drop in album prices over the last couple of years with most available now for less than £10 on the highstreet and as low as £8 on-line.

Maybe it's time the industry faced the truth - their cynical marketing aimed at the lowest common denomenator is what is killing the singles industry - not piracy, and maybe what they need is a radical rethink to the chart-obsessed sales policies they have adopted if they're do stop the decline in single sales.

What are your thoughts? Do you use pirated downloads as a basis for your album purchases? We'd be very interested on your feedback through the comments below...

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