Christmas Surge In Music Downloads As iTunes Dominates

As people received their iPod Christmas presents it has been reported that visits to music downloading sites rose by up to 50%.

The figures from Hitwise, an online intelligence company, and reported by the FT show that December 24th and 25th had visitor figures up 50% over usual daily trends and that visits were up 15% on last year with the posibility that downloads could top 1m for on weeks trading for the first time ever.

Apple was the clear leader with it's iTunes Music Store but Sony has been making headway to become the next best. It now ranks number 2 globally for music downloads where last year it was virtually non-existant. Sony's rise has been attributed to the Sony Ericsson Walkman mobile phone, which also boosted Sony's phone sales up 15% while the iPod was consistantly Amazon's top electronics gadget over the festive season with Apple tipped to have sold 10m units over the period, 37m throughout the year.

Before Christmas the BPI, the UK record companies' trade association, reported that music downloads were up 500% year on year with 2005 topping 23m vs. 2004's 4.7m.