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Down down, deeper & down

Are you listening to music as you read this? We bet you are.

Did you pay for it?

If not, you're killing the music industry. That, at least, is the message that record companies have tried desperately to send in recent years to counter the scourge of illegal downloading, and it's starting to look like they might have been telling the truth after all.

Album sales in the UK - including physical and download albums - have declined for the sixth year running, according to figures just released by the industry body BPI. And it's a big drop - from 128.9 million last year to 119.9 million this year. The single, meanwhile, seems to be dying - 1.9 million were sold this year, compared to 2.5 million last year.

Digital download stores like iTunes have shifted some of the digital market from illegal to legal, but not enough, experts say. 'The simple fact is that CD sales are declining much more quickly than digital sales are growing,' a 'digital analyst' (fun job!) told the BBC.

So switch off that dodgy MP3 and buy a bloody record, willya?

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