Music download

A music download is the digital transfer of music via the Internet into a device capable of decoding and playing it, such as a home computer, MP3 player or smartphone. This term encompasses both legal downloads and downloads of copyrighted material without permission or legal payment. According to a Nielsen report, downloadable music accounted for 55.9% of all music sales in the US in 2012.[nb 1][1] By the beginning of 2011, Apple's iTunes Store alone made US$1.1 billion of revenue in the first quarter of its fiscal year.[2]

Antonio Tajuelo iTunes
A smartphone displaying a digital album on the iTunes Store

Online music store

Paid downloads are sometimes encoded with Digital Rights Management that restricts copying the music or playing purchased songs on certain digital audio players. They are almost always compressed using a lossy codec (usually MPEG-1 Layer 3, Windows Media, or AAC), which reduces file size and bandwidth requirements. These music resources have been created as a response to expanding technology and needs of customers that wanted easy, quick access to music. Their business models respond to the "download revolution" by making legal services attractive for users.

Even legal music downloads have faced a number of challenges from artists, record labels and the Recording Industry Association of America. In July 2007, the Universal Music Group decided not to renew their long-term contracts with iTunes. This decision was primarily based upon the issue of pricing of songs, as Universal wanted to be able to charge more or less depending on the artist, a shift away from iTunes' standard—at the time—99 cents per song pricing. Many industry leaders feel that this is only the first of many show-downs between Apple Inc. and the various record labels.[3]

According to research by the website TorrentFreak, 38% of Swedish artists support file share downloading and claim that it helps artists in early career stages. The Swedish rock group Lamont has profited from file sharing.[4]

RIAA against illegal downloading

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) oversees about 85% of published music production, distribution and manufacturing in the United States. They work to protect musicians while supporting the First Amendment rights. Their stated goal is to support artists' creativity and help them not be cheated out of money by illegal downloading.[5] The Recording Industry Association of America launched its first lawsuits on 8 September 2003, against individuals who illegally downloaded music files from the Kazaa FastTrack network.

Two years after it began, the campaign survived at least one major legal challenge. The RIAA said it filed 750 suits in February 2006[6] against individuals downloading music files without paying for them in hopes of putting an end to Internet music piracy. The RIAA hopes their campaign will force people to respect the copyrights of music labels and eventually minimize the number of illegal downloads.[7]

The Official Charts Company began to incorporate downloads in the UK Singles Chart on 17 April 2005, at which time Radio 1 stopped broadcasting the separate download chart, although the chart is still compiled. Initially this was on condition that the song must have a physical media release at the same time; this rule was fully lifted on 1 January 2007, meaning all download sales are now eligible in the chart.

Sales records

United Kingdom

Music downloads have been measured by the Official Charts Company since 2004 and included in the main UK Singles Chart from 2005. The most downloaded song in the UK is "Happy" by Pharrell Williams with over 1.8 million downloads.[8]

United States

In November 2005, the record for the best-selling downloaded single in the United States was held by Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl", which sold over one million downloads, making it the first song to achieve platinum download status.[9] As of July 2012, the record for the best-selling downloaded single in the United States on the iTunes Store is held by The Black Eyed Peas's "I Gotta Feeling", which has sold over 8 million downloads.[10][11]

Soon after his death in 2009, Michael Jackson became the first artist to sell over one million songs downloaded via the Internet in one week.[12] However, Adele marks the most downloads sold by a single song in a week, with "Hello" selling 1.12 million copies in November 2015.

Eminem's seventh studio album, Recovery (2010), became the first album to sell one million digital copies.[13]

Beyoncé's self-titled fifth studio album became the fastest-selling album within 24 hours in iTunes history after its release in December 2013. Within 24 hours of availability, the album sold 430,000 digital copies. Adele's third studio album 25 became the fastest-selling album in a week iTunes history after it was released on 20 November 2015. It sold 1.64 million digital copies in its first week (included preorders on the iTunes store since the release of the album's lead single "Hello" in October 2015).


In 2006, the Recording Industry Association of Japan began issuing certifications for digitally released music in Japan, compiling data from the early 2000s onwards.[14] The best-selling song is Fukushima-based vocal group Greeeen's song "Kiseki" (2008), which was certified for being legally downloaded four million times between 2008 and 2015,[15] followed by R&B singer Thelma Aoyama's "Soba ni Iru ne" (2008) featuring rapper SoulJa, which was certified for three million downloads between 2008 and 2014.[16] Greeeen's song "Ai Uta" (2007) ranks as the third highest certified song, with 2.5 million downloads tracked between 2007 and 2009.[17][18] Two more songs have sold more than two million paid downloads: Ayaka's "Mikazuki" (2006) and Kobukuro's "Tsubomi" (2007).[19] The most successful ringtone in Japan is Moldovan-Romanian band O-Zone's "Dragostea din tei" (2003), known locally as "Koi no Maiahi" (恋のマイアヒ), which was certified as having four million units sold.[14]

In Japan, only two albums have received digital certifications by the RIAJ. The first was Songs for Japan (2011), a charity compilation album raising profits for the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, which was certified gold for 100,000 downloads in June 2011.[20] The second album was the Japanese language cast recording of the Frozen soundtrack, which sold 100,000 copies between its release in March 2014 and January 2015.[21]

South Korea

In South Korea, Gaon Digital Chart has been tracking digital sales since 2009. The most successful song according to their published data is Busker Busker's "Cherry Blossom Ending" (2012), which was downloaded over 7 million times between 2012 and 2017.[22][23][24][25] In 2011, "Roly-Poly" by T-ara was the most successful song of the year, selling 4.1 million digital copies.[26] In 2012 this accolade went to Psy's "Gangnam Style", after selling 3.8 million units.[22]

See also


  1. ^ "All music sales" refers to albums plus track equivalent albums. A track equivalent album equates to 10 tracks.


  1. ^ Lunden, Ingrid (4 January 2013). "Download Me Maybe: U.S. Music Market Up By 3.1%, Fuelled By 1.3B Digital Track Sales In 2012, Says Nielsen". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 21 January 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  2. ^ Apple's iTunes revenues top $1.1 billion in Q1 Archived 12 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine, FierceMobileContent 19 January 2011
  3. ^ Leeds, Jeff. "Universal in Dispute With Apple Over iTunes".
  4. ^ "Swedish artists want to legalize filesharing" 17 October 2011
  5. ^ "For Students Doing Reports". RIAA. Archived from the original on 10 April 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  6. ^ "Riaa Announces New Round Of Music Theft Lawsuits".
  7. ^ Jason Krause. "Breaking up downloading". ABA Journal 92 (2006): 16, 18. Research Library. ProQuest. Georgia State University Library, Atlanta, Georgia. 12 November 2008
  8. ^ Copsey, Rob (9 September 2014). "Pharrell's Happy now the UK's most downloaded track of all time". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  9. ^ Hiatt, Brian (19 January 2006). "Stefani, Peas Lead Singles Boom". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved 9 January 2007.
  10. ^ "Week Ending June 24, 2012. Songs: Elton & The Peas | Chart Watch (NEW)". 27 June 2012. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
  11. ^ "Week Ending March 20, 2011: Songs: The Chris Brown Matter – Yahoo! Chart Watch". 23 March 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
  12. ^ Zee (2 July 2009). "Michael Jackson is the First to Sell 1 Million Downloads in a Week". The Next Web. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  13. ^ "Eminem Sets Digital Sales Record". Rap Radar. 5 July 2011. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
  14. ^ a b "レコード協会調べ 8月度有料音楽配信認定" [Record Association Investigation: August Digital Music Download Certifications] (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. 20 September 2006. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  15. ^ "レコード協会調べ 7月度有料音楽配信認定" [Record Association Investigation: July Digital Music Download Certifications] (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. 20 August 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  16. ^ "レコード協会調べ 3月度有料音楽配信認定" [Record Association Investigation: March Digital Music Download Certifications] (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. 18 April 2014. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  17. ^ "レコード協会調べ 8月度有料音楽配信認定" [Record Association Investigation: August Digital Music Download Certifications] (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. 20 September 2008. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  18. ^ "レコード協会調べ 7月度有料音楽配信認定" [Record Association Investigation: July Digital Music Download Certifications] (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. 20 August 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  19. ^ "レコード協会調べ 1月度有料音楽配信認定" [Record Association Investigation: January Digital Music Download Certifications] (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  20. ^ "レコード協会調べ 5月度有料音楽配信認定" [Record Association Investigation: May Digital Music Download Certifications] (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. 20 June 2011. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
  21. ^ "レコード協会調べ 1月度有料音楽配信認定" [Record Association Investigation: January Digital Music Download Certifications] (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. 20 February 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  22. ^ a b "2012년 Download Chart". Korea Music Content Industry Association. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  23. ^ "2013년 Download Chart". Korea Music Content Industry Association. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  24. ^ "2014년 Download Chart". Korea Music Content Industry Association. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  25. ^ "2015년 Download Chart". Korea Music Content Industry Association. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  26. ^ "2011년 Download Chart". Korea Music Content Industry Association. Retrieved 29 April 2015.

7digital Group Plc is a publicly listed digital music and radio services platform. 7digital offers both B2B services for digital media partners as well as 7digital-branded direct-to-consumer (D2C) music download stores.

7digital's platform and API have been used to power digital music services for businesses such as Guvera, Onkyo,Samsung, BlackBerry, HMV, & Technics. 7digital's group companies Smooth Operations, Unique Production and Above The Title are now branded 7digital Creative, producing independent content for broadcasters like BBC Radio 1, Radio 1Xtra, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 3.

7digital music download stores are available globally and have major label catalogue in over 40 countries. They also have a mobile web-store, smartphone apps for Android, BlackBerry 10 devices, Firefox OS, Windows and iOS.

Albino Blacksheep

Albino Blacksheep is an animation website made in Toronto, Ontario, Canada that publishes member submitted digital media. Most of these are movies or games created with Adobe Flash. The website also features image galleries, audio files, and text files. Additionally, there was a mobile section that provides ring tones, screensavers, and wallpaper for mobile phones.

Dave Barnes

David Mckee Barnes (born June 20, 1978) is an American musician, singer, and songwriter from Nashville, Tennessee. He has released eight studio albums, including two Christmas albums. His most recent full-length album, Who Knew It Would Be So Hard To Be Myself, was released February 9, 2018. is an Internet download directory website launched in 1996 as a part of CNET. Originally, the domain was, which became for a while, and is now The domain attracted at least 113 million visitors annually by 2008 according to a study.

Jill Johnson

Jill Anna Maria Johnson (born 24 May 1973) is a Swedish country and pop singer and songwriter. She performed the Melodifestivalen 1998 winning song Kärleken är, and represented Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 1998 with that song, which finished 10th with 53 points. In 2003 she again entered Melodifestivalen with Crazy in Love, which finished fourth in the final. She also hosted the final of Melodifestivalen in 2005. Johnson is today one of the most successful artists in Sweden, with several Gold and Platinum records.

Joan Osborne

Joan Elizabeth Osborne (born July 8, 1962) is an American singer, songwriter, and interpreter of music, having recorded and performed in various popular American musical genres including pop, soul, R&B, blues, and country. She is best known for her recording of the Eric Bazilian song "One of Us". She has toured with Motown sidemen the Funk Brothers and was featured in the documentary film about them, Standing in the Shadows of Motown.

Justin Townes Earle

Justin Townes Earle (born January 4, 1982) is an American singer-songwriter and musician. He is a son of alternative country artist Steve Earle and is named after Townes Van Zandt.

List of best-selling singles in Japan

Japan has the second largest music market in the world. In 1962, Tokushin music reports was founded and became the leading provider of music sales in Japan. However their reports and charts are only available to industry insiders and are not available to the general public. In 1968 Original Confidence was established and began providing music charts to the general public with data collected from various retailers throughout Japan.

This is the list of the best-selling singles, based on the data by Oricon. This list doesn't include singles that were released before 1968, and is only from data collected from Oricons retail partners and not the record companies.

Live from Paris (U2 album)

Live from Paris is a concert video and live album by Irish rock band U2. It was recorded during the band's concert at Hippodrome de Vincennes in Paris, France, on 4 July 1987 during the Joshua Tree Tour. The concert was originally released in video form on the bonus DVD that was included in the remastered box set of The Joshua Tree, released on 20 November 2007. The following year, the concert was released as a digital music download exclusively in the iTunes Store on 21 July 2008.

Marc Broussard

Marc Broussard (born January 14, 1982) is an American singer-songwriter. His style is best described as "Bayou Soul", a mix of funk, blues, R&B, rock, and pop, matched with distinct Southern roots. In his career, he has released eight studio albums, one live album, three EPs, and has charted twice on Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks.

Musiq Soulchild

Taalib Johnson, professionally known as Musiq Soulchild or simply Musiq (; born September 16, 1977) is an American singer and songwriter whose style blends R&B, funk, blues, jazz, gospel influences fused with hip hop.


Newgrounds (collectively, Inc.) is an American online entertainment and social media website and company. It hosts user-generated content such as gaming, filming, audio and artwork composition in four respective website categories. Newgrounds provides visitor-driven voting and ranking of user-generated submissions.The site's founder and owner, Thomas "Tom" Fulp, founded the site and company in 1995 and produces in-house content over at the headquarters and offices, based in the Glenside neighborhood of Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania.Newgrounds's slogan since 2006 is "Everything, By Everyone". This phrase is a registered trademark that is owned by Thomas Fulp, who first filed it in November 16, 2005. Newgrounds's previous slogan from 1995 to 2006 was "The Problems Of The Future, Today!"


NoiseTrade is a global online audio and book direct-to-fan distribution platform based in Nashville, TN, that enables its users to upload, their originally-created music and books and give away for free without digital rights management to anyone who provides at least an e-mail address and zip code. It was established by Derek Webb and artists he knew after he became one of the first major label artist to give his album away for free digitally on his website, where over 80,000 free copies of the album were downloaded. He then used the mailing address gathered in to book shows and after attendance at his shows had increased dramatically he decided other artists could benefit from the same idea of giving away music in exchange for location and contact information that may be more valuable than money made selling digital albums. Artists upload music with their free account, and then anyone can download ZIP files of mp3 and album art, only requiring an e-mail address and zip-code or country code for an opt-in newsletter from the artist, but optionally you may share using various social media or pay money to artists in the form of a tip-jar and the site takes a 20% cut for its costs and profit. Since its creation it has been constantly added features, many of which are common on other music streaming and music download websites, and has recently added books and other written media.

Online music store

An online music store is an online business which sells audio files over the Internet, usually sound recordings of music songs or classical pieces, in which the user pays on a per-song or subscription basis. It may be differentiated from music streaming services in that the online music store sells the purchaser the actual digital music file, while streaming services offer the patron partial or full listening without the actually owning the source file. However, online music stores generally offer partial streaming previews of songs, with some songs even available for full length listening. Online music stores typically show a picture of the album art or of the performer or band for each song. Some online music stores also sell recorded speech files, such as podcasts and video files of movies.

Patty Griffin

Patricia Jean Griffin (born March 16, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter and musician. She is a vocalist and plays guitar and piano. She is known for her stripped-down songwriting style in the folk music genre. Her songs have been covered by numerous musicians, including Emmylou Harris, Ellis Paul, Rory Block, Dave Hause, Sugarland and the Dixie Chicks.

In 2007, Griffin received the Artist of the Year award from the Americana Music Association, and her album Children Running Through won the award for Best Album.

In 2011, Griffin's album Downtown Church won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Gospel Album.

Randy Travis albums discography

Randy Travis is an American country music singer. His albums discography comprises 21 studio albums, including two holiday albums, 17 compilation albums, and two live albums, His first six studio releases have all been certified platinum or higher by the Recording Industry Association of America, with the highest-certified being 1987's Always & Forever, at 5× Platinum certification for shipments of five million copies. Four more studio albums, including his first holiday album, have been certified gold, and his first two Greatest Hits packages are each certified platinum.

Robert Earl Keen

Robert Earl Keen (born January 11, 1956) is an American singer-songwriter and entertainer. Debuting with 1984's No Kinda Dancer, the Houston native has recorded 18 full-length albums for both independent and major record labels. His songs have had cover versions recorded by several country, folk and Texas country music musicians, including George Strait, Joe Ely, Lyle Lovett, The Highwaymen, Nanci Griffith, and the Dixie Chicks.

Although both his albums and live performances span many different styles, from folk, country, and bluegrass to rock, he is most commonly affiliated with the Americana genre. Keen has toured extensively both in the US and abroad throughout his career, and was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012 along with Lyle Lovett and the late Townes Van Zandt.

Shooter Jennings

Waylon Albright "Shooter" Jennings (born May 19, 1979) is an American singer-songwriter who has released seven albums and numerous EPs. He also has made multiple appearances and cameos in films. Jennings is active mainly in outlaw country and Southern rock genres. Jennings is the son of country music legends Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter.

Currently signed to Universal South, Jennings made his debut with the single "4th Of July" of his 2005 album Put the "O" Back in Country, which peaked at No. 22 on the Billboard country charts. Jennings has since followed with six more full-length studio albums: Electric Rodeo (2006), The Wolf (2007), Black Ribbons (2009), Family Man (2012), The Other Life (2013) and Countach (For Giorgio) (2016), in addition to a live album, a compilation, and numerous EPs.

In 2018 it was announced Jennings will be releasing his eighth album called Shooter, under Dave Cobb’s Low Country Sound imprint label.

Spinner (website)

Spinner was an online music and entertainment service. An AOL Music property, it was acquired by AOL on June 1, 1999, along with Nullsoft for $400 million. Based in San Francisco, California, the website was the first Internet music service and was the largest by 2001, while offering promotional features from high-profile recording artists. In 2002, AOL combined Spinner with the former's Netscape portal to form Netscape Radio. Spinner broadcast over 100 radio stations, including Radio CMJ.In 2008, Spinner was revamped by AOL as a music website aimed at the "music aficionado". The website offers exclusive interviews of recording artists, streams of albums and live performances, and a free music download daily.Spinner, along with all AOL music sites, was abruptly shut down in April 2013. The URLs to all former AOL music sites, including Spinner, were re-directed to starting in August 2013. Several AOL Music blogs, along with Comics Alliance, were sold to Townsquare Media in June 2013.

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