Europe's top digital-music service OD2 says it sold 1 million music downloads in the first quarter of 2004, showing signs that the nascent European market is beginning to take off.

Europe's top digital-music service OD2 says it sold 1 million music downloads in the first quarter of 2004, showing signs that the nascent European market is beginning to take off.

The U.K.-based technology company said today (April 1) the sales figure represents a doubling of its download business from the fourth quarter of 2003 and a 10-fold rise from the year-earlier period.

OD2, which licenses its download service to Internet partners including HMV and Internet service provider Tiscali, is considered the best indicator for Europe's digital download market.

The more mature U.S. market is growing much faster. In under a year's time, Apple Computer Inc.'s market-dominant iTunes has sold more than 50 million songs to U.S. consumers.

The privately-held OD2 also said its total turnover for the first quarter was £1 million ($1.84 million), including proceeds from downloads and licensing fees.

--Reuters

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