Sales of downloaded music from the Internet tracked; to be part of Billboard mag weekly charts

Friday, July 4th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The recording industry is getting a clearer picture of how much music people are paying to download over the Internet.

Nielsen SoundScan, which tracks music sales at stores, has begun compiling weekly data on the sale of songs downloaded from the Internet from online retailers such as Apple's iTunes Music Store, Pressplay, MusicNet, and Liquid Audio.

The data should help define the impact of downloaded music on overall music sales, which have fallen the past three years. Record companies contend illegal file-sharing is largely to blame.

``This further demonstrates that the online music marketplace has moved forward in a significant way, and this data is important to the industry,'' said Seth Oster, a Pressplay spokesman.

The new data will be incorporated into Billboard magazine's weekly charts, which are drawn from Nielsen information.