by Jon Newton, 11/3/03
Online singles are outselling their 'offline' opposite numbers by slightly more than a 5-to-1.
Digital download sales were ahead physical singles 857,000 to 170,000, says Nielsen SoundScan figures for the week ending October 26 quoted in a Reuters report here.
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Nielsen says the trend has been evident since mid-August and from the last week of June, when Nielsen SoundScan began tracking digital downloads, through the current week, digital tracks outsold physical singles 7.7 million units to 4 million, states the report, continuing that the former figure could have been higher, but digital track figures don't include the first two weeks of sales from iTunes for Mac.
Apple reported sales of 1.5 million tracks in its first two weeks on the Mac platform.
"The singles market, much to the dismay of physical retailers, has been in a state of pronounced decline for many years," Reuters correctly points out.
"Because major labels have concerns regarding singles' potential to cannibalize album sales, only a limited number of those titles are available for sale.
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