These days if you want to get a copy of the latest hit song, you don't go to a record bar, you go online and download it from music download sites. Downloading music has become so popular that online music sites which sell digital singles and albums are starting to eclipse their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Revenues from the sale of digital music reached almost billion at the end of 2007 and are estimated to hit .3 billion by 2012; by comparison, sales from CD stores are seen to fall to .9 billion in 2012 from .6 billion in 2007.
Another sign of how music downloads are beginning to overshadow CDs is the fact that music industry publications such as Billboard now compile charts of top music downloads besides those of top selling CDs and most played songs. In fact, many songs have become popular even without substantial radio airplay due to downloading. The recording industry also now certifies singles as gold or platinum based on download sales.
Thus, legal and illegal music download sites have mushroomed on the Internet.