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ALBUMS DYING

Last year, digital singles outsold plastic CDs for the first time. So far in '07, sales of digital songs have risen 54%, to roughly 189 million units, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Digital album sales are rising at a slightly faster pace, but buyers of digital music are purchasing singles over albums by a margin of 19 to 1. Because of this shift in listener preferences, record labels are signing artists to singles or only ring tones. Some are looking to transform record labels into de facto fan clubs where fans would pay a fee to "subscribe" to their favorite artists and receive a series of recordings, videos and other products over time. (NY Times 3/26/07)

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