Revenues from music downloads are expected to jump 25% to €60 million ($83.7 million) in 2007, according to data disclosed by Berlin-based economics, telecommunications and new-media research firm BITKOM at the Popkomm trade fair.

This would represent market growth of 25% compared to the 2006 fiscal year, when BITKOM says download revenues at retail prices reached €48 million ($67 million). The research figures, commissioned by Nuremberg-based market research institute GfK, cover the sales of both individual tracks and complete albums.

"The download market made a strong start in 2007," said BITKOM president August-Wilhelm Scheer. "In the first six months alone, Germans downloaded music on to their computers to the value of €27 million [$37.7 million]. In the same period in the previous year, the figure had been a mere €21 million [$29.3 million]."

BITKOM also predicts that this year, the number of downloads will increase to about 34 million units of individual tracks and complete albums, up 30% on 26 million units in 2006.

In the first half of 2007, the company says 16 million units (individual songs or albums) were downloaded between January and June 2007. The figure for the same period last year was 12 million units.

According to Florian Koch, BITKOM's head of digital media and e-services, "The success of the digital music market is attributable primarily to demand by male buyers." He said male buyers account for 66% of digital sales in Germany.

The data also shows that young people are mainly responsible for the growth, with the under-30 age group accounting for 44% of all revenues.