Net to take `20% of video and CD sales'

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ONLINE sales of music and videos and associated software are on course to account for 20 per cent of the total market within five years, according to a survey published today.

The report by retail consultants Verdict says that although online entertainment sales account for only 1.5 per cent of sales at the moment, advances in technology means the market is on the threshold of an electronic revolution.

Verdict says the development of "downloadable" CDs, where music can be recorded from the Net on to a CD, will threaten the role of middlemen in the music and video industries, including retailers and record companies. The technology could also put pressure on CD prices."Retailers risk ignoring the Internet at their peril," the survey warns.

Verdict expects 9.5 per cent growth in the entertainment market this year.