Songs and bundles worth €112 million ($152 million) were downloaded onto computers in Germany in 2009, an increase of 40% over the previous year.

The data is from a survey conducted by market research institute GfK in Nuremberg on behalf of the German Federal Association of Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM) in Berlin.

"The market for downloaded music is booming more than expected," comments BITKOM vice president Achim Berg in Berlin. "This market is impervious to the effects of the economic crisis. We forecast further strong growth in 2010. More and more people are preferring the convenience of using their PCs to select the music they want to hear."

Volumes also rose last year, with German consumers downloading 51 million tracks or albums in 2009, an increase of 27% over 2008.

Men constitute 63% and women 37% of the customers. At the same time, the proportion of consumers aged over 30 increased by four percentage points to 57 percent.

"Paid music downloads are no longer the domain of young users but are growing in popularity in older age groups in particular," says Berg.

Downloaded individual tracks cost an average of €1.08 ($1.46). Three years ago, it cost €1.14 ($1.55) to download a track.

"The trend towards mobile utilization of the Internet offers new market opportunities for providers of multimedia content," explains Berg.

BITKOM represents more than 1,300 companies and is the voice of the information technology, telecommunications, and new media industry in Germany with 950 direct members.