The music industry has become a two-format industry, report Billboard.

AMERICAN trade magazine Billboard continues to plot the rise of legal internet delivered music. In a front page story in its May 1 issue it states that "for the first time in a long time, the record industry is once again a two-format business." The article, by Brian Garrity, goes on to document how digital music is fast taking the place of the cassette format as an option to the CD. It continued, "For the piracy-ravaged recording industry, whose fortunes have been almost solely hitched to the health of the CD since cassette sales began to flag dramatically in 1997, positive trend lines in digital music offer a welcome glimmer of hope. 'It shows there's light at the end of the tunnel,' EMI Music vice chairman David Munns says. 'A little over a year ago we were at zero. Now the growth curve is quite strong.'

Total digital music sales in the United States - downloads, on-demand streaming music and subscription radio revenue combined - are expected to more than triple in 2004 to $250 million, according to some digital service forecasts. The forecasters estimate that the US digital market produced $70 million in overall revenue last year. CR

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