Digital's growing role in a shrinking music business was the highlight of recent data released by the Recording Industry Association of America.
In 2007, digital sales accounted for 23 percent of the industry's revenue. That's a jump from 16 percent a year earlier. Royalties from those digital sales rose nearly 50 percent.
But digital can't overcome the slump in the sale of CDs, which declined about 20 percent in value. The result was an industry with overall sales that fell about 12 percent last year, accelerating a slump that began in 2006.