Major label, Atlantic Records (part of the Warner Music Group) has become the first leading music publisher where digital revenues have overtaken those from physical sales of CDs and DVDs.

Atlantic is perhaps best known from its seminal Motown days and currently looks after artists such as the wonderful Björk, the tedious James Blunt and the laughable Kid Rock.

51 per cent of Atlantic's revenues over the past year were from digital downloads via iTunes and similar services.

UK catching up

Digital download sales account for around 10 per cent of total revenue of music sales in the UK right now.

Atlantic's Chairman and Chief Executive, Craig Kallman, said of the news:"It was really important to educate artists about how we had to change the thinking on the release cycle and the type of products we were releasing."

"Some fans only want to buy the physical disc, some only want to buy a ringtone and a T-shirt, others just want a concert ticket, others want to buy a digital album.

"Everybody wants something different now ... we need to offer them whatever they want, whenever they want."

The music industry is still massively confused as to how it might tackle the growing problem of online piracy, so its great news for the industry at large that a major such as Atlantic has been able to monetise digital downloads so well.