The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry also reveals global music sales declined by 1.3% in 2000...

Free Internet file-swapping has contributed to single sales in the US almost halving in the last year, according to new figures released this week.

According to a report from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the organisation who represent the international recording industry, overall sales of singles in the US decreased by 46%, with sales of CD-format singles dropping by 39%.

The report states “the availability of free online file-sharing services had clear repercussions for singles sales” and the decline is “attributable in part to the availability of free online music”.

It also reveals that global music sales decreased by 1.3% in the last year.

Speaking about the report, Jay Berman, IFPI chairman and CEO said: “The downturn in the US (which represents 38% of the world music market) brought down the overall sales figures…we also saw the first evidence of the impact of free online music, as well as the damage being done by unauthorised CD-R copying in some major markets.

“At the same time significant progress was made towards realising the huge potential of the legitimate online music market. This is becoming apparent with recent announcements, including ventures such as (major label Napster alternatives) Duet and MusicNet, which signal our members’ determination to develop this area of business.”