Keeping Track: music sales

Technology drives a dropoff, led by US market

CD burners and the "ripping" of songs from the Internet in MP3 format are eating away at global music sales. Worldwide demand for recorded music, including CDs, cassettes, and records, fell by 5 percent, to $33.7 billion, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), a London-based trade association.

Sales were down sharply in the US, Japan, and Germany Â- but they actually increased in other markets including France and the United Kingdom. They also rose in China, Russia, and India.

Overall, the industry picture looks bleak, says IFPI chairman Jay Berman. "The commercial value of music is being widely devalued by mass copying and piracy."

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