CD SALES RISE IN US

That's despite a huge increase in the number of legal music downloads...

CD sales in the US rose by 2.3% last year – despite a huge increase in the number of legal music downloads.

The increase is the first the country has seen in four years, and though 14 million albums were downloaded last year, 98% of the 666 million albums sold were on CD format according to research company Nielsen Soundscan.

The end of 2004 saw the number of weekly legal music downloads reach an all time high of 6.7 million, compared to 300,000 a week mid-2003, reports the BBC.

Usher’s ‘Confessions’ was the biggest selling US album, totalling more than eight million copies.

Other big sellers included Norah Jones and Eminem.

The increase is mirrored by record sales in the UK, with 2004 totals showing a 3% increase. As previously reported, [a][/a] scored the biggest-selling album of the year.