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Swedish music sales plummet

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18:14 CET+01:00
The sale of CDs and music in Sweden has slumped for the third year running. Last year sales declined by a massive 17%.

Many industry insiders believe illegal downloads across peer-to-peer (P2P) networks over the internet are responsible. But this doesn't account for the fact that world wide sales have actually begun to pick-up. For instance in the USA, according to DN, the record industry reported 10% more sales in the first six months of last year.

Mårten Aglander, head of the Swedish division of Universal believes Americans have dealt more decisively with illegal downloading.

"They have a lawful alternative [Apple's iTunes] which is working well."

iTunes, which is available in the UK and other parts of Europe, is yet to open in Sweden. But the prevailing view is that it would help the industry if and when it does.

Per Sundin, head of Sony BMG in Sweden says the sale of music over the internet in Sweden is improving but there remains much to be done.

"Our Netshops aren't as consumer friendly as in the USA," says Sundin.

A new Swedish law which expressly forbids file-sharing of copyright material over the Net is expected to be in place by the summer.

No doubt this will please record industry bosses, but it remains to be seen whether the wider availability of legal download stores will save the Swedish record industry. There already seems to be a declining interest in the music business on the part the Swedish media.

Aftonbladet and Expressen have both slashed their coverage of bands and music in the last year, shifting more attention onto docusoap and film celebrities. The Friday supplements, once filled with band interviews and record reviews, are now overflowing with features on the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter

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