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Britons go crazy for digital downloads

More of us are downloading from stores like iTunes instead of buying CDs on the high street

There has been a sharp rise in digital downloads of music and movies in the UK over the past year, with sales topping £163 million. That trend looks set to continue, say analysts. However downloads still have a long way to go before they'll eclipse CD and DVD.

Market analyst Verdict says that digital downloads have risen by 45.5 per cent within the last year. The £163 million figure is expected to rise to £600 million in just five years time.

However even £600 million is still a drop in the ocean compared to physical media sales - they'll stand at £4 billion this year, a decline of 2.9 per cent over last year.

"While piracy will continue and CD volumes will decline further, retailers generally are now better placed to cope with new market challenges," said Verdict analyst Nick Gladding in the UK Music and Video Retailers 2007 report.