|LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Shipments of full-length compact discs in the United States reached an all-time high in the first half of 2000, up six percent from the year-ago period to 420 million units, said the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
CDs comprise 86 percent of the total music purchasing market and the dollar value grew 9.9 percent to nearly $5.7 billion, the RIAA said.
The strong data come amid a raging legal battle between the RIAA and Internet sites such as song-swap company Napster Inc., which are accused of facilitating copyright piracy and undermining sales for music companies and copyright holders.
"Despite the excitement felt by music lovers and record companies alike over the positive potential of the Internet, for the time-being, loyalty to the physical product remains as is evident by these midyear shipment numbers," said Hilary Rosen, president and CEO of the RIAA. "CDs will be around for a long time," she added.
The RIAA attributed the increase in CD shipments to a healthy market and to an impressive number of first-quarter release successes, including Britney Spears, 'N SYNC and Eminem.
DVD music video unit shipments rose 71.3 percent for the first two quarters of this year, while music videos rose 6.3 percent.
Shipments of cassettes, which make up 8 percent of all product shipped to manufacturers in the first two quarters, fell 31.5 percent while both CD and cassette singles also fell.
Shipments of vinyl albums and singles also declined.
As a result of every format declining with the strong exceptions of CDs, DVDs and videos, overall shipments dropped 2.4 percent, the RIAA said.
The RIAA is based in Washington, D.C. and represents big record companies, like Seagram Co.'s Universal Music, Bertelsmann AG (BTGGga.D) BMG, Sony Corp.'s (6758.T) Sony Music and Time Warner's Warner Music Group and EMI(EMI.L).