Last Minute Holiday Buying in Digital Music

Digital music enjoys a dream week [pdf]

In the seven-day stretch between Christmas and the new year, millions of consumers armed with new MP3 players (primarily iPods) and stacks of gift cards gobbled up almost 20 million tracks from iTunes and other download retailers, Nielsen SoundScan reports.

In the process, consumers shattered the tracking firm’s one-week record for download sales.

[…] In comparison to the volume of music that is downloaded through peer-to-peer networks, those numbers may not seem like much. P2P monitoring service Big Champagne estimates that at least 250 million tracks are downloaded worldwide each week from file-swapping services.

But a dramatic rise in the tide of authorized download sales in recent weeks suggests that changes may be afoot in the consumer’s relationship to digital music.