Nielsen Soundscan To Report Digital Download Music Sales 
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Thursday, 03 July 2003

Nielsen SoundScan, has announced that effective July 2nd it began reporting permanent digital music downloads that are sold through online services including Apple, Pressplay,, MusicNet and Liquid Audio. Upon the anticipated re-launch of the Napster service, they will also provide digital download data to Nielsen SoundScan. This data as tracked by Nielsen SoundScan will enable the recording and entertainment industries to measure and monitor sales of digital music.

Digital downloads will be reported under the "Non-Traditional" Nielsen SoundScan category that compiles Internet, mail order and concert venue sales. Despite total overall CD sales in 2002 being down 8.7%, the Non-Traditional category segment has shown a dramatic increase in sales increasing from 2.2 million sales in 1997 to more then 22 million in 2002. Additionally, sales of albums via Internet retailers accounted for 79% of all Non-Traditional sales in 2002.

Digital download sales of recorded albums and singles will be included in the Nielsen SoundScan album and singles sales charts respectively. Nielsen SoundScan will also debut a digital download tracks chart defined as songs purchased individually or as part of a retailer-defined bundle. These tracks may come from an album, a single, or a standalone recording.

Nielsen SoundScan, a service of Nielsen Entertainment, is the source authority for retail music sales information. It aggregates sales information from more than 16,000 retailers in the U.S., accounting for more than ten million sales transactions per week, representing more than 85% of retail music product sales in the U.S. The weekly Billboard Magazine music charts are based on Nielsen SoundScan information.

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