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Digital music sales nearly doubled in 2006 but the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry wants more done to stop piracy.

The IFPI published its Digital Music report on Wednesday which estimates that digital music sales reached nearly USD2 billion in 2006, up from USD1.1 billion the previous year.

Music downloads account for about 10 per cent of the industry's sales, up from 5.5 per cent in the previous year. The IFPI acknowledges that sales of digital music do make up for the decline in CD sales.

The organisation said legal actions against large-scale peer-to-peer uploaders have helped contain piracy, thus reducing the proportion of internet users frequently file-sharing in key European markets.

More than 10,000 such actions were initiated in 18 countries worldwide in 2006, and the average legal settlement is now €2,420. The IFPI said it is stepping up its campaign for action from internet service providers (ISPs) and will take whatever legal steps are necessary to fight piracy.

"As an industry we are enforcing our rights decisively in the fight against piracy and this will continue. However, we should not be doing this job alone. With cooperation from ISPs we could make huge strides in tackling internet piracy globally," said IFPI chairman and chief executive John Kennedy

"It is very unfortunate that it seems to need pressure from governments or even action in the courts to achieve this, but as an industry we are determined to see this campaign through to the end," he said.

The report found that single track purchased online had increased 89 percent on the previous year with 795 million individual tracks downloaded. Portable player sales helped increase consumption with total sales of around 120 million worldwide in 2006 - an increase of 43 per cent on the previous year.

Digital music users now have a wider variety of choice with the number of tracks available online doubling to reach over four million in the last year.

"By 2010 we expect at least one quarter of all music sales worldwide to be digital," said Kennedy. "The chief winners in the rise of digital music are consumers. They have effectively been given access to 24-hour music stores with unlimited shelf space."

Copyright © 2007, ENN

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