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Learning English - Words in the News
23 May, 2008 - Published 11:26 GMT
Music downloads
Music downloads

Songwriters and music publishers now earn more money from downloads and broadcasts than they do from CD sales, according to the latest copyright figures. They show that the music business grew last year by almost three per cent. This report from Torin Douglas:

Listen to the story

Most downloads are still illegal, bringing no earnings to songwriters and artists. But income from legal downloads grew by more than fifty per cent last year, according to the MCPS PRS alliance which distributes the rights income. That helps revenue from online and broadcast music to overtake earnings from physical products, such as CDs.

Broadcasting still dominates, but downloads are growing fast, helped by online systems, such as Apple's itunes. Now commercial radio companies are hoping to take a share by enabling listeners to download music as they hear it on the air. Simon Cole, of UBC media group, which has developed the 'clic' system, claims most music fans are happy to pay, if it is made easy:

COLE: It's absolutely nothing new that some people will try to rip off music and they'll do that however you do it, whether you produce it on CDs or digital files. But if you offer the vast majority of people the chance to get music at a fair price in a way that's easy and efficient, they'll do it that way.

If that faith in human nature is confirmed, the income from downloads is set to grow even faster.

Torin Douglas, BBC

Listen to the words

files (in this case audio) that you can copy from the Internet to save on your computer

bringing no earnings
not allowing to make any money from their work

the money you receive from doing work or from investments

income from business

to overtake
to be more/higher than

to take a share
to enter the market and earn money

on the air
as it is broadcast

to rip off
to steal

the vast majority of

is set to
will certainly

To take away:
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